Open Wed-Sun 11.00-18.00 / 17 Lai Street Tallinn, 10133 Estonia


PRESS RELEASE 25.02.2009



29.01.-17.05.2009 (closed 23.03.-01.04. and 18.05.-29.05.2009)

Blumenflirt gives a spirited overview of floral motifs in Estonian applied art. At all times flowers have been used as ornaments, several meanings have been attributed to them and various messages can be encoded in them. Fragile and colourful blooms have always been a bountiful source of inspiration for artists. Flowers attract us by their colour, allure by their form and inebriate with their fragrance. Magical power is also attributed to them. Flowers are proud and spectacular, they are admired, and they represent a mystery. Flowers have symbolic, mythological as well as religious connotations. Numerous cultures all over the world have associated flowers with femininity and fertility. Flowers have a language of their own. Already from the antiquity flowers were used to transfer concealed messages. The language of flowers gained popularity in the Victorian England; this was a means of communication in which various flowers and floral arrangements were used to send coded messages, allowing individuals to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken. This was communication without words. Saints had their own flowers that had to be symbolic of their virtues.
Red roses imply passionate love and beauty, pink roses a lesser affection; white roses suggest virtue and yellow roses stand for friendship and devotion. Poppies offer consolation. Irises and lilies signify resurrection, they are also linked with the stars and the Sun and their petals with the rays. Daisy is a symbol of innocence and purity. A daffodil signifies regard, an apple-blossom means a promise, aster satisfaction, begonia means contemplation, gladiolus stands for strong character, heather signifies loneliness, sunflower adoration, pansy stands for fidelity etc.
Giving flowers as a gift was a statement that did not have to be repeated in speech or letter. By today, these strict rules do not apply any more; flowers are meant to make an impression. It is not unusual to attribute a personal meaning to the flowers that could remind of a specific event or a special moment in life. Flowers are given for birthdays, as a token of love, for keepsakes etc. and this comes from heart.
Several other phenomena can be associated with flowers – flower gardens, flower festivals; flowers are dried and frozen, sometimes they are even eaten; a maid may blossom and some people become flowers of their generation…
The flowers displayed at the exhibition have shot up from the hands of artists and originate from the collection of the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design and private collections of the artists. Both floral ornaments as well as forms are displayed, most date from the period starting from the middle of the last century up to the present days. Starting from the Dionysian crater decorated with garlands and faience roses by Ellinor Piipuu, to the romantic mirror frame of Kristine Pärtelpoeg, from leather boxes of Ivi Laas and luxurious jewellery sets by Haivi Raadik to adornments by Eve Margus-Villems shaped as single fragile blooms, Leida Jürgen’s rose bouquets engraved in crystal and Maret Sarapu’s glass herbarium, Silvia Vasmuth’s flowered silk kerchiefs and Peeter Kuutma’s decorative textiles in the fashion of Pop Art of the 1970s to the floral wheels of Krista Leesi and rose pillows of Lylian Meister.
 The title of the exhibition stems back to the popular parlour game of the 1930s.
Flowers carrying folk tradition and the interpretations of the latter were deliberately omitted from the exhibition, although, as an extra display to Blumenflirt the rose-patterned rugs featuring national floral pattern dating from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries are displayed in the Stairs Gallery of ETDM.
 Curators: Kristi Paap, Dagmar Siida
Exhibition designer: Raul Erdel 
We would like to thank the Cultural Endowment of Estonia for support.

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