Council Gallery

The Secret Language of Flowers

Flowers have been depicted by cultures across the world in art since the start of recorded history. Although values for their aesthetic qualities, for most of this time, they have been utilised for their symbolism.

The Secret Language of Flowers looks at how flowers have been used to symbolically represent subjects in the still life and human portraiture genres.

In still life art, each flower represents a particular subject, while a combination of flowers creates a narrative that can be determined by the viewer if they understands the meaning of each flower. In addition, the condition of the flowers is important, whether they are in full bloom or wilting.

In portraiture, flowers are one of a number of different decorative objects that are used to provide information about the person (or people) depicted, such as a personality trait, a virtue or vice or an emotion.

Drawn from the HRAG permanent collection, The Secret Language of Flowers consists of more than 30 paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures by Australian and International artists such as Christian Thompson, Chris Barry, Richard Spare, Irena Sibley, Con Kroker and Janina Green.


Entry is free. Wheelchair accessible.

Image: Janina GREEN, Teacup Still Life from the series Still Life, 1988, hand tinted silver gelatin photograph. Purchased through the Horsham Art Gallery Trust Fund. Courtesy of the artist.

Event Information


15 September 2023 -
26 November 2023






The Horsham Town Hall and Horsham Regional Art Gallery acknowledge the traditional lands of the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk people. We pay respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging.