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Nymphaea gigantea W.Hook, 1855; Unknown artist after Walter Fitch; Charles Lemaire, editor; botanical print from Le Jardin Floriste, vol. 3; handcoloured engraving on paper with gum arabic; Collection: Art Gallery of Ballarat; Purchased with funds from public donation, 2011

A major celebration of 300 years of Australian botanical art will be held at the Art Gallery of Ballarat beginning September 25, 2012.

The exhibition Capturing Flora: 300 Years of Australian Botanical Art will take visitors through a historical journey of how Australia’s amazing and diverse flora have been recorded, interpreted and popularized by botanical artists from William Dampier and the early explorers to the present day.

Gordon Morrison, Director of the Art Gallery of Ballarat who is curating the exhibition, says Capturing Flora will be the most comprehensive exhibition of Australian botanical art ever held in Australia.
He goes on to say:

This is a much-needed tribute to the tradition and practice of botanic art in Australia which has been enjoying a renaissance over the last few decades. We are bringing together works from the Gallery’s collection, many of which have been bought in preparation for this exhibition, with key works from some major institutions.

The 350 original drawings and prints range from colourful works which celebrate Australia’s vibrant and flamboyant wildflowers to black and white drawings which are incredibly detailed and meticulously observed. It’s a show that will appeal to anyone who has ever looked at a flower.

A diverse selection of merchandise and a lavishly produced catalog will be produced for the exhibition. Morrison says the catalog will “be a significant contribution to the field as it will contain a series of scholarly essays and will be the first comprehensive monograph to cover botanical art for over ten years.”

The exhibition will include rare 18th century prints of plants that buccaneer William Dampier found on his visit to the Kimberleys in 1699 and images from Cook’s exploration of the east coast of the continent. It will also address the growing popularity of Australian plants in Australia and the growing interest in Australian plants by European gardeners.

Ferdinand von Mueller, the first director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and the instigator of botanical gardens and collections throughout Victoria and elsewhere in Australia, gets a special billing in a section that highlights the link between research and art.

A section of the exhibition will focus on women artists, both amateur and professional, who have made significant contributions to the recording and popularization of Australian plants. Some, like Louisa Meredith and Ellis Rowan have been celebrated for their work, while others like Eliza Blyth and Fannie de Mole are still relatively obscure.

The exhibition concludes with the revival of Australian botanical art that occurred after World War II. This section will highlight the careers of Margaret Stones and Celia Rosser, and will feature a selection of work of some of the best botanical art in Australia, including that by Jenny Phillips, Anita Barley and Mali Moir.

Tourism packages and special workshops will be offered in conjunction with the three-month exhibition. Visitors to the gallery will also have the opportunity to meet with curators.

The Art Gallery of Ballarat is located at 40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat. Gallery hours are 9 AM – 5 PM daily. Admission is $12 adults, Concession $8, children and gallery members are free. Questions about this special event should be directed to artgal@ballarat.vic.gov.au.

Visit the Art Gallery of Ballarat



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“Capturing Flora” Opens a the Art Gallery of Ballarat

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Originally trained in botany, Alison Day transitioned into a more creative lifestyle by training at Goldsmiths College and The London Metropolitan University. A former photographer, Alison returned to drawing after an accident left her studio bound for a considerable time.

An artist for over 20 years, Alison’s drawings and paintings reflect a love for, and understanding of, the natural environment. Her work speaks to her process of looking, reflecting and communicating the essence of plants. Alison explains:

This work takes time and a meditative patience. Some have commented that the process must be therapeutic, which it is. But then doesn’t artistic practice by its very nature perform this function? The work attempts to imbue the viewer with the same feeling of meditative peace. As an artist, I invite the viewer to take time to look, not something we often give ourselves the pleasure of doing.

Interested in learning more about botanical illustration?

A “taster session” for those interested in botanical art will be held on Saturday, May 27, 2012 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM. All are welcome. Please bring your own drawing or painting materials.


About The Gallery London

The Gallery London promotes the creative expressions of local artists. They provide both established and emerging artists the opportunity to work in a creative environment and the opportunity to promote and exhibit their work. The Gallery hosts art classes for children and adults, as well as a cafe and a vintage boutique. The Gallery is located at 132 Hither Green Lane, SE13 6QA. For more information, contact Larissa at The Gallery London.

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Many new exhibitions have been added to the Exhibits to Visit section. So many in fact, it is necessary to create an announcement to bring attention to all of them.

Some exhibitions are already open and others will open this week, such as the exhibition at the Northbrook Public Library in Northbrook, IL featuring the award-winning botanical art of Heeyoung Kim. On view will be the collection of paintings for which Heeyoung was awarded a gold medal by the Royal Horticultural Society earlier this year.

Here is what’s new:

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Edible Plants Illustrated
Florida Society of
Botanical Artists
Venice Art Center
Venice, Florida
April 9 – May 3, 2012

The Florida Society of Botanical Artists invite you to their new exhibition!

Botanical art is enjoying a renaissance and, although it often depicts far-flung marvels of the botanical world, this juried exhibition of fifteen contemporary practitioners illustrates some common and uncommon plants people have used for food both in the past and the present.

The role of botanical art is to blend the scientific study of plants with artistic presentation. The 38 works in Edible Plants Illustrated were created using watercolor, colored pencil, graphite and silverpoint, and show the wide range of media employed by today’s botanical artists.

Founded in 2005, the Florida Society of Botanical Artists (FSBA) is a chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists.

Meet the artists this Friday at the opening reception. A reception will be held on April 13, 2012 from 5-7 PM at the Venice Art Center.

Venice Art Center
390 South Nokomis Avenue
Venice, Florida 34285
April 9 – May 3, 2012
View map


Also See…

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Arisaema triphyllum © Ann Biggs. All Rights Reserved

Spring Show for The Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators
The Station Gallery
Greenville, DE
April 9-28, 2012

The Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators (PSBI) invite you to their annual juried exhibition!

Beginning today, thirty-six paintings by twenty artists will be on view at The Station Gallery in Greenville, Delaware.

An opening reception will be held this Friday, April 13, 2012 from 5-8 PM. Meet the artists, ask questions about their process and learn more about the PSBI, their outreach projects and the classes taught by members.

The Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators was founded in 1997 to celebrate the achievements of its members, to provide exhibition opportunities for members and to introduce new audiences to botanical illustration.

Last month, the PSBI received an award at the Philadelphia International Flower Show for Best Achievement, Horticultural Art and Illustration for their exhibition featuring the plants of Hawaii. Learn more about The Flora of Hawaii: Indigenous, Endemic or Invasive on the PSBI blog.

Cattleya aclandiae © Donelda La Brake. All Rights Reseved

The Station Gallery is located at 3922 Kennett Pike, Greenville, Delaware. Directions, gallery hours and information about how to receive information about upcoming shows can be viewed here.

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Drawing Nature: Botanical Art in Colored Pencil is now on view at the Mahoney Library Gallery on the Santa Rosa Junior College Petaluma Campus.
This exhibition opened on April 2 and continues through May 25, 2012.

Drawing Nature is a group exhibition of botanical art created by students of
Nina Antze, a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists. Antze studied illustration at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), and her drawings have been exhibited at NYBG, as well as at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, and the gallery at Filoli.

Artists participating in Drawing Nature are Nina Antze, Adrianne Bowes, Suzanne Cogen, Victoria A. Kochergin, Rebecca Lichau, Jackie Lueder, Joanne Page, Elizabeth Peyton, Linda Rouse, Ginny Ritama Spencer, Vi Strain, Christine Woodward, Nancy Wheeler, and Barbara Wysham.

The Mahoney Library Gallery is located at 680 Sonoma Mountain Parkway. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 AM to 9 PM and Saturday, 10 AM – 3 PM. For more information, call (707) 778-3972.

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While this is a busy time of year, there is always time to enjoy botanical art. Below are a few opportunities to view drawings and paintings by contemporary botanical artists.

This information has also been added to the Exhibits to Visit section in the column to your right.


Put Yourself on the Map

Results from the ongoing Reader Satisfaction Survey show the Exhibits to Visit section is popular with readers. Help fellow artists, naturalists, educators and collectors find you. Send your announcements to education@artplantae.com.

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