|Gallery 6 in The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art|
|The Main Gallery in The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art|
Botanical Art in the 21st Century is a celebration of the worldwide renaissance in botanical art today. The exhibition features some recently acquired works in the Shirley Sherwood Collection and demonstrates both traditional and new techniques in painting and drawing. From the show, we get to see very clearly how artists are ever changing the way they approach their subjects, from painting styles to compositional alterations. There are several very large pieces in the main gallery and there is a wide array of media. The diversity present in the gallery spaces is quite surprising and spectacularly interesting. If you want to read more about the story of this exhibition, then I can strongly recommend a visit to Coral Guest's blog. She has two of her stunning works on display and has eloquently written about the content of this exhibition.
|Angela Maria Russo's Musa sp|
I, myself, have several personal favourites in the show, some of which I have mentioned before when they've been shown in previous exhibitions, such as with Coral Guest's work, but there are some new ones that I have rather taken a fancy to.
'Zucca' by Marzio Tamer went a little viral with the online botanical art groups after Galleria Salmon posted a picture of it on it's facebook page. It is an amazing painting, so atmospheric and calming. I think Rory McEwen would have liked it as it has that ethereal and delicate quality - it's a moment captured in time. Marzio's piece has rather sweetly been put in it's own show case as the frame has no glazing, so it's a bit vulnerable.
|Annie Hughes' Camellia japonica 'Elegance Champagne'|
My other favourites are Annie Hughes' massive Camellia japonica 'Elegance Champagne' flower, which I like for it's technical achievements. I personally find it very hard to paint white flowers, let alone one this big, with this many petals using a wet on wet technique - it's sheer brilliance. On a technical achievement level I also find Kimiyo Maruyama's Pinuns palustris rather mind boggling. How on earth have all those needles been painted?!
|A close up on Kimiyo Maruyama's Pinus palustris|
|Dasha Formicheva's triptych of Biarum angustatum inflorescences|
|Phansakdi Chakkaphak, Tree Jasmine|
|Diana McElwain, Prayer Plant|
I like the bold composition of Angela Maria Russo's Musa sp. (top of page) and the way Phansakdi Chakkaphak has captured the bright sunlight in his Tree Jasmine. I am also rather taken with Dasha Formicheva's triptych of Biarum angustatum inflorescences. They seem to dance around the page and have been painted with an admirable looseness which is rather lovely to see in contrast to the tighter and more precise around the gallery, such as ... which I adore! Lastly, I love the green's in Diana McElwain's Prayer Plant leaves, because I do like a bit of green and Catherine Nicolson's large pen and ink drawings because I love all pen and ink work.
As you make your way round Botanical Art in the 21st Century you'll probably soon see that the show is a modification of an exhibition that was mounted in Pisa last year, in the Museo della Grafica. This show was curated by Professor Lucia Tomasi Tongiorgi and Professor Alessandro Tosi and was called Botanical Art into the Third Millennium and came with a catalogue that was in English and Italian. Dr. Sherwood has included a selection of Italian works, some of which were painted specially for the Pisa show.
Gionata Alfiera's beautiful
'Studio di tepali di Hippeastrum'
|Catherine Nicolson's fabulous large pen and ink works|
Anyway, if you are in the area do pop in, it's well worth it, and of course we have Barbara Oozeerally's beautiful Magnolia's on show too!
Close up of Gionata Alfiera's'Studio di tepali di Hippeastrum'