She was assisted by the Speaker who opened the exhibition, Dr Nigel Dunnet, Professor of Planting Design and Vegetation Technology, and Director of The Green Roof Centre, University of Sheffield. He was one of the people responsible for the wildflower meadows which were such a feature of the Olympic Park. You can follow Nigel and his plants on https://twitter.com/NigelDunnett - he posts lots of pics of plants - particularly ones relating to green roofs!
We have an inbuilt response to flowers. When you are surrounded by beautiful flowers most people experience a sense of well-being.Dr Nigel DunnetThe theme of this year's show is Botanical Garden and you can see it in the Westminster Gallery at Central Hall Westminster until Sunday 18th May. It's free to enter and is open every day between 11am and 5pm.
|Botanical Garden - 29th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists|
9th May - 18th May 2014
all artwork copyright the artists
all photos copyright Katherine Tyrrell - with the kind permission of the SBA
The shop has been relocated and appeared to be doing extremely well! (see yesterday's post - What every art society needs - an exhibition shop)
The Diploma also has a very clear space for those interested in finding out about studying for the qualification and the quality of the student work on display was exceptional.
|Simon Williams, the Course Director reviews the student exhibit with a visitor|
One of the things I particularly liked this year was the way very informative labels had been introduced for some works (I guess it was optional?) so that visitors can not only admire the art but also learn something about the plant they are looking at and/or the approach adopted by the artist. You can see one of these listed below under Claire Ward's artwork.
One slight reservation I had is that some of the works were hung rather high for a proper appreciation of the artwork. This meant I was also fighting with the lighting when taking pictures which were hung high - as it was so strong it was producing "white outs" - and I apologise to all those artists if their artwork is not quite true.
I understand there's a notion that maybe the number of works accepted should be reduced in future to improve the hang for visitors. I like the fact it has 677 works plus the sculpture - however a bit of a prune may well be in order.
However, this will present the selection panel with something of a challenge as the standard of exhibit is very high this year. One of the interesting characteristics of the exhibition this year was seeing some of the people who have recently qualified either with SBA or in Edinburgh "hitting their stride" and beginning to submit superior work - as reflected in the awards and Certificates of Botanical Merit. I can only imagine the standard will continue to improve year on year!
I also noted a sudden surge in the number of works being submitted and hung with a black background.
This post will be followed by one dedicated to those people who won a Certificate of Botanical Merit - but first here are details of the prizewinners.....
The Joyce Cuming Presentation Award A legacy from Joyce Cuming – a sterling silver Almoner’s plate. The winner receives a certificate.
- Winner - Sue Wickison BA (Hons) SBA GM CBM 2010 for Arisarum Proboscideum
|Arisarum Proboscideum (Mouse Plant) £2,500|
from Wellington Botanic Gardens, New Zealand (watercolour)
Sue Wickison also won this award in 2011. For those wanting to follow artists who are currently setting benchmarks can I recommend you follow Sue's website and her production of large format contemporary botanical art. When I say "go big", I mean this big! (Those who I have said this to will recognise the comment)
Those Highly Commended included:
- Meg O’Neil for Pelargonium sp Cumbanita series
- Susan Dalton SBA - for Carpus betula
| Carpinus betulus - Common Hornbeam (watercolour) £750|
by Susan Dalton
- Margaret Eccles AssocSBA - for Black Tulip
|Black Tulip (watercolour) £500|
by Margaret Eccles
- Gillian Martin SBA - for Nelumbo nucifera
|Nelumbo nucifera - Sacred Lotus (Watercolour) £659|
by Gillan Martin Dip SBA (Dist.)
- Kate Nuttall SBA - for Banksia menziesii
|Banksia Menziesi (watercolour) £200i|
by Kate Nuttall
- Julie A Small SBA GM CBM '96, '97, '02, '06 - for Sarracenia purpurea (pencil)
|Sarracenia purpurea (pencil) £400|
by Julie a Small
- Christiana Webb for Castanea sativa (Sweet Chestnut)
|Castanea sativa (Sweet Chestnut) (watercolour) £950|
by Christiana Webb
- Claire Ward Dip DBA (Dist.) SBA - for "A Year in the Welsh Oak Woods of the Rheidol Valley, NNR and SSI"
|A Year in a Welsh Oak Wood Of the Rheidol Valley, NNR & SSSI (watercolour and graphite) £995|
by Claire Ward
|This is the label which accompanies the artwork by Claire Ward seen immediately above|
When choosing subject matter for botanical art and illustration, it's certainly worth thinking long and hard about plants which botanical interest rather than those which are just pretty to look at.
The Margaret Granger Memorial Silver Bowl In memory of Margaret for the best picture by a member elected in the last two years.
- Winner - Sarah Wood SBA for a body of work
|Body of Work by Sarah Wood|
- Winner - Billy Showell SBA - for her body of work
|Body of work by Billy Showell|
The President’s Award for work in other media Cash prize for work in media other than watercolour
- Winner - Jacqueline Allwood for her work "Book of Judges: Branble, Olive, Vine and Fig" (set of four acid etched engraved and polished panels) - which you can also see on her website
|"Book of Judges: Branble, Olive, Vine and Fig" |
© Jacquline Allwood
These are sponsored by companies associated with art materials
Great Art Award
For an outstanding exhibit. The winner chooses £500.00 of materials from the Great Art catalogue
- Winner - Amber Halsall for her body of work (including Strawberries for Tea - see below)
|Strawberries for Tea|
Derwent Award For an outstanding work in a pencil medium. The winner receives chooses £200.00 of materials from the Derwent catalogue
- Winner - Elizabeth M H Coventry for her suite of four works in coloured pencil (107-110)
|Palm No. 2 (Coloured pencil) by Elizabeth Coventry|
St Cuthbert's Mill Award - Paper to the value of £100 for an outstanding watercolour painting.
- Winner - Victoria Braithwaite for a body of work (numbered 44-47)
|Peony, Canna House Garden (watercolour) £450|
by Victoria Braithwaite
|Globe Artichoke, Lisdisfarne Castle (watercolour) £2,275 |
by Victoria Braithwaite
There are daily demonstrations by SBA members working in a variety of different media used for botanical art. Those remaining are:
- Monday, 12 May Billy Showell SBA Watercolour
- Tuesday, 13 May Gaynor Dickeson SBA Coloured pencils
- Wednesday, 14 May Margaret Eggleton SBA Watercolour/gouache
- Thursday, 15 May Jill Winch SBA Graphite/pen and wash
- Friday, 16 May Sue J Williams SBA Watercolour
- Saturday, 17 May Maureen Jordan SBA Pastels
- Sunday, 18 May Ann Swan SBA Coloured pencils
More information about Botanical Art
You can read more about
- past Botanical art exhibitions hosted by the Society of Botanical Artists on my blog or via the sectiion devoted to Botanical Art Competitions and Open Exhibitions in the UK on the Botanical Art - Resources for Artists
- The Best Botanical Art Instruction Books
- The Best Books about Botanical Artists & Illustrators
- A History of Botanical Art
- Botany for Botanical Artists