The Silent Orchid Festival was originally intended as a campus-wide display of ceramic orchid vessels on windowsills, desks and bookshelves. However, in response to COVID-19 restrictions, it was reimagined as an online Summer School.
A group of artists, photographers, historians and orchid growers participated in online workshops and tutorials to learn more about the history and cultural significance of orchids and orchid collecting whilst nurturing and growing their own specimen.
Participants received a grow kit, art pack and a specially made hanging basket, whilst a series of texts were commissioned for discussion in group and public debates. These are now available to read below:
Also watch Philip delivering his talk ‘Odontoglossum crispum (Oncidium alexandrae): a tale of love, loss and scientific discovery’ at The VI Conferencia Cientifica de Orquideas Andina, Medellin Colombia here
The Silent Orchid Summer School ran alongside Matt and Philip’s ongoing project, ‘Mr Chamberlain’s Orchids,’ which stemmed from an artist residency at the University of Birmingham and aimed to highlight the interconnected narratives between heritage, science and cultural histories. It was presented as part of the University of Birmingham Arts and Science Festival