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Venue: RHS Horticultural Halls, Greycoat Street, Westminster, London SW1P 2QW
In the second of the RHS London shows, a series of beautiful paintings by some of the world’s finest botanical artists will be on display at the RHS Horticultural Halls from 27–28 February 2015.
In its sixth year, the show celebrates the beauty, technical artistry and scientific importance of botanical art. There is also an element of competition with artists from Thailand, Japan, Australia and Turkey joining British artists, all hoping to win a coveted Gold Medal. There are works in graphite, watercolour and pencil, gouache and acrylic, with subjects ranging from trees and fruit to vegetables and wild plants.
At first glance, it seems strange that in the 21st century, botanical art is not just holding it own but flourishing. Whilst many people may associate botanical art with the voyages of discovery in the 18th and 19th century, its history goes back into antiquity. During the Renaissance, artist such as Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Durer produced high quality botanical prints and in the 16th and 17th century the prints became an important part of the scientific revolution.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, botanical art prints became attractive as decorative pieces in their own right and became endlessly reproduced on a wide variety of materials.
Hideo Horikoshi Gold Medal winner
Before the show opened the judging took place and it proved to be a successful event for the Japanese exhibitors who took four of the six gold medals awarded. Gold medal winners were Masako Mori, Hideo Horikoshi, Kumiko Takano, Kimiyo Maruyama, Gulnar Eski from Turkey and Kathy Pickles from London.
Kumiko Takano, Gold Medal winner
Visitors cannot fail to be impressed with the standard of the works and it soon becomes clear that botanical art is not necessarily the exact reproduction of the plant or flower.
Gulnar Eski , Gold Medal winner
The finished painting is often a composite of many elements that allows the artist to show their creativity. It is this creativity that allows an attention to details that would get lost in a photograph.
Masako Mori, Gold Medal winner
There is an opportunity for visitors to talk to the artists about their work and in some cases, purchase works and prints directly from the artist.
Kimiyo Maruyama, Gold Medal winner
If you are inspired by the botanical art on display you can watch demonstrations by award-winning artists Julia Trickey and Susan Christopher-Coulson, Print-maker Hannah McVicar will be demonstrating her craft, and will be creating a unique print for sale at the show, and the Chelsea School of Botanical Art will also be running taster sessions for those who want to have a go themselves.
There will also be the opportunity for visitors to buy a variety of art products and talk to representatives from florilegia societies and botanical art and illustration societies about their work and courses.
Special tours of the RHS Lindley Library will allow visitors to view works recently added to the impressive RHS collections and browse a special pop-up library.
The show will be of particular interest to those interested in botanical art , however it is of a more general interest, the quality of the art work is very impressive and there are plenty of side attractions if you fancy having a go yourself. It may also be of interest to those who would like to pick up a piece of original botanical art for decorative purposes.
Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended
Non-members tickets: £5
RHS members: free (with valid membership card)
For more information or to book tickets, visit the RHS website here
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