Friday, June 04, 2010

The Comparison of the Old and the New

Old and New South American Botanical Art
The Shirley Sherwood Gallery Kew
May 8 to August 8 2010

This is the first of two new exhibitions in the Gallery as part of RBG Kew’s
Biodiversity Year celebrations.
This new exhibition has the purpose of comparing the old and the new of a specific branch of Botanical Art. It show cases some spectacular and inetnsely devotional drawing from the Mutis Collection from Spain, alongside contemporary botanical masterworks of plants that originate from the South American countries. The works from the Mutis Collection reveal a wealth of botanical techniques that map the course of Botanical Art. By placing the contemporary works from the Sherwood Collection alongside these earlier works, we are offered the chance to gain some insight into the way that contemporary artists who work in the botanical art realm, have developed their techniques, by sustaining and developing the very best of what has come before.

You can see my painting of the South American plant Lapageria rosea, commonly known as the Chilean Bellflower. It grows in the forests of southern Chile and is the national flower of Chile. It is part of the Valdivian flora.
The painting shows both the Lapageria rosea and the cultivated white form Lapageria rosea 'Albiflora'. The plant used as the specimen model for the painting thrives in Dr Sherwood's own greenhouse, in Oxfordshire.