Strange Bright Blooms: A History of Cut Flowers
Randy Malamud

Hardback | Dec 2021 | REAKTION BOOKS | 9781789144017 | 324pp | 250x190mm | GEN | AUD$59.99, NZD$69.99

Virginia Woolf’s novel famously begins — ‘Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.’ Of course she would: why would anyone surrender the best part of the day to someone else? Flowers grace our lives at moments of celebration and despair. ‘We eat, drink, sing, dance, and flirt with them’, writes Kakuzo Okakura. Flowers brighten our homes, our parties, and our rituals with incomparable notes of natural beauty, but the ‘nature’ in these displays is tamed and conscribed. This book analyzes the transplanted nature of cut flowers — of our relationship with them and the careful curation of their very existence.

It is a picaresque, unpredictable ramble through the world of flowers, encompassing paintings, murals, fashion, and public art, glass flowers, pressed flowers, flowery church hats, weaponised flowers, deconstructed flowers, flower power...and much more.