Although there are clear differences in its history, the analogy with the Amstelpark is striking. As the world exhibition in horticulture, the Amstelpark is especially constructed for the Floriade. The world exhibition therefore was, in its own way, a vegetative representation of the zeitgeist: the Floriade was created to show a wide audience what was possible in the field of horticulture at that point in time. The vegetation of the Colosseum had to disappear for the increasing amounts of travellers, tourists and pelgrims, while the vegetation of the Amstelpark formed the main attraction for tourists.
In the project ‘Flora of the Colosseum’, I bring the lost vegetation of the Colosseum temporarily back to the Amstelpark in Amsterdam, using the eponymous publication from 1855 that collects the research by botanist Richard Deakin. In this publication, 420 species of flora have been categorized that have grown in the Colosseum in that time. In this project, I use morse code as a translating decoding technique to bring back the lost flora to the Amstelpark. In the Glazen Huis I will show the lost and forgotten vegetation in a visual and auditive way, and in the Roman garden of the Amstelpark I will place a light artwork. A blinking lamp exposes the Roman garden to the lost vegetation of the Colosseum, that temporarily shine here again. When it is dark, the lamp becomes a lighthouse, a recognizable beacon that signs light. Because the park is closed after sunset, the plant names that are communicated in light signs are only destined for the vegetation in the Roman garden. In this way, the vegetation in the Roman garden is reunited with the vegetation it is supposed to represent.