Florilegium is the continuation of body of work by Joseph McGlennon, which was first commenced in 2014. The first in the series, Florilegium #1 was the winner 2015 William and Winifried Bowness Photography Prize and has since been acquired by the Monash Gallery of Art and Australian Parliament collections. Like the earlier work, these works take inspiration from Joseph Banks’ botanical drawings and present glimpses to a rare and exotic paradise; and in the case of Florilegium #9, a world inhabited by a bird which as been extinct since the 17th Century, the dodo.
A Latin term reconfigured in the Middle Ages; Florilegium (to gather flowers), had its early language roots in the gathering together of scholarly church writings, into the one tome. In the 16th &17th centuries, Botanical Gardens emerged across Europe, privately hoarding exotic world flowers and animals, signalling the rise and rise of the illustrated colour plate book. The growing desire to collect and record the worlds flora & fauna, alongside the growing confidence in science, all fused to produce a notion of the Florilegium as a luxurious record of the rare; of important beauties to be viewed in the one vista.