The Secret Garden, The Botanical Brush, From Eye to Hand and Hidden TreasureSat 05 February - Wed 01 June 2011
These exhibitions feature a wide range of contemporary botanical art produced by artists and will be the first time that original artwork has been offered for sale at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art.
Acacia erioloba by Rachel Pedder-Smith
Primula denticulata, artist unknown, Kew Collection
These exhibitions feature a wide range of contemporary botanical art produced by artists associated with Kew, alongside work produced by members of two well established and flourishing English botanical art societies. This exhibition reflects the work of professional and amateur artists, including RHS medal holders, and is the first time that original artwork has been offered for sale at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art. A commission taken from sales will support the work of Kew, and contribute to the ongoing development of this gallery dedicated to botanical art, and to the care of the Art Collection.
The Secret Garden
Members of the Leicestershire Society of Botanical Illustrators were attracted to Belgrave Hall Museum Gardens three years ago and immediately christened it ‘The Secret Garden’ partly because of its location in a greatly changed area of Leicester, but also because of the way in it had been planted. The garden has a series of ‘rooms’ and holds a number of unusual trees and shrubs for a garden in middle of England, where frosty, cold, wet winters can be characteristic. The walled nature of the garden creates a micro-climate which has allowed some tender trees and shrubs to thrive over the last 250 years. Whilst the project has attempted to emphasise this in the choice of plants depicted, there are also many familiar trees and shrubs within the collection. With the exception of one or two glasshouse specimens, the plants represented in the paintings are all grown outside.
The Society was formed in 1987 by a small group of enthusiastic botanical painters led by Anne-Marie Evans. The aim of the Society is to promote botanical illustration and to encourage its members to achieve a high degree of botanical accuracy and attention to detail in the depiction of plants.
The Botanical Brush
This exhibition features the work of nine artists who have botanical paintings held in the archive of Hampton Court Palace Florilegium. The Society was founded in 2004 to record the paintings grown in the gardens of Hampton Court Palace with special focus on the plants grown in the Queen Mary Exotics Collection, a National Heritage Collection unique to Hampton Court Palace that has been in existence since the seventeenth century. The Society is limited to 25 members, all qualified botanical artists, who have gained internationally recognised awards and medals, and whose paintings and private commissions are held in collections worldwide.
From Eye to Hand
The paintings in this exhibition include a timeline of works that have been selected from the Kew Art Collection which contains over 200,000 items. These are works by artists who flourished from the mid eighteenth century, through to those producing outstanding work today, and includes paintings by some of the undisputed masters of botanical art. There are also publications and archive material displayed which reveal a variety of style and subject. Some pieces have been produced for publication, while other examples were made to aid identification, and record. The use of botanical illustration is still fundamental to scientific research, and Kew currently commissions a significant number of botanical illustrations a year.
The contemporary paintings in this exhibition are by artists whose work already features in the Kew Collection, and who were invited to submit material for this exhibition.
Dr. Sherwood will also be exhibiting works from her contemporary collection of botanical art illustrating what occurs under the soil. Paintings include Coral Guest’s Lilium regale painted in 2007 to create a pair with the black Iris ‘Superstition’ that she painted in 2005. These are large scale works and the Lilium regale has been painted life-size. The bulbs and roots alone took two months to complete. There will also be an opportunity to see Susannah Blaxhill’s 'Beetroot' which is a favourite of Dr Sherwood and demonstrates how botanical illustration can make a common vegetable look remarkable.
Art on Demand
Prints from our Kew Timeline which is currently on show in our exhibition 'From Eye to Hand' are available. You can also buy prints of other images from Kew's Collection here.
Upcoming exhibition - Plants in Peril
25 June – 16 October 2011
This exhibition features botanical paintings of endangered plants from around the world, and includes paintings from the Shirley Sherwood Collection with a South African emphasis. The exhibition also includes 'Losing Paradise?', an exhibition displaying paintings of rare plants predominantly from North America and all illustrated by members of the American Society of Botanical Artists. For more information about the next exhibition please click here.
Entrance to the exhibitions is free with entry to the Gardens.
Please contact the gallery for further information on 0208 332 3622 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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