This afternoon somebody in the gallery at Kew made me aware of an exhibition and book called Sylva by Sarah Simblet. Sadly this exhibition, which was shown in Edinburgh until the 15th June, completely bypassed my attention, so I missed it.
Sylva apparently was designed to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the publication of John Evelyn's Sylva - A Discourse on Forest Trees. As part of the show, a wonderful book (Bloomsbury, 2014) was published as part of the project, a sample of which can be seen here. It features several remarkable drawings by Sarah Simblet and passages written by Gabriel Hemery which bring Evelyn's classic discourse up-to-date. I absolutely love Sarah's work. I love the feeling of curiosity and deep thought that comes across in her drawings. Like she is searching for something. Her book Botany for the Artist is one of my favourites. Her pieces remind me of a collection of 18/19th century documents that one might find in an archive.
Below is a little film where we can listen to Sarah talking to Jaqui Pestell about her part in creating The New Sylva. This short motion picture was sponsored by Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) and was made to celebrate the opening of the Sylva Exhibition.
Sylva is a collaboration between the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, The Sylva Foundation and four other botanic gardens and arboreta in UK and Ireland: National Botanic Garden of Wales, National Botanical Garden of Ireland; National Arboretum at Westonbirt and Harcourt Arboretum, Oxford University.
- The New Sylva: Drawing trees with Sarah Simblet
Saturday 27th September 2014
10.00am to 4.00pm
Venue – Harcourt Arboretum
Tickets cost £60 (includes a sandwich lunch)