Tuesday, February 02, 2016

RHS Botanical Art 2016 - Selected Artists

Thirty five botanical artists have been selected by the RHS Picture Committee to exhibit at the dedicated RHS Botanical Art Show 2016 in the Lindley Hall in the City of Westminster on 26-27 February 2016. This is the largest number of botanical artists in one RHS Botanical Art show during the time I've been visiting.

Below you can find
  • A list of the artists exhibiting in 2016 organised by the country of origin and/or where they live
  • The subject matter for their exhibit is also listed. Some of them sound absolutely fascinating.
  • I've added comments about the individual based on what I know about them or what I can glean from their website or other related sites.  These are intended to give you an idea about what sort of things people exhibiting botanical art with the RHS might get up to when not preparing for this exhibition. I hope budding botanical artists might find this information useful!  (TIP: when planning to exhibit make sure you have a website and that it's up to date!)
This was the RHS Botanical Art Show in 2015 - this year the stands have been changed.

Selected Artists

I recognise quite a few names and have indicated those who I know who have already been awarded an RHS  Gold Medal. I'm also including photos of those individuals I've previously met at Botanical Art Show when winning a gold medal!

It's going to be a great show - and I predict a stiff competition! Looks like we might have a lot of orchids to look at.


  • Julie Nettleton: ‘Xanthorrhoea sp., Grass Trees’. Xanthorrhoea is a genus of majestic Australian native plants which can grow for hundreds of years.  I'm particularly looking forward to meeting Julie. She's a hugely talented artist and her amazing painting of Banksias was the 'exhibition image' for the 14th International Art Exhibition of Botanical Art and Illustration at the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation.  A slice through this drawing is the banner image for her website. I'm guessing, based on her website, that her exhibit will be related to her current project - and it looks as if the paintings will be spectacular!
Currently I am working on a major project to produce a monograph of significant Australian native plants growing in the North Head Sanctuary, Manly. The site is one of Australia’s last remaining pockets of bushland known as Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub. Here a rich diversity of native heathland plants grow on ancient, nutrient poor aeolian sands. It is classified as an endangered ecological community so the recording and celebration of what survives is important.
  • Sandra Sanger GM (2010, 2013): ‘Orchids: Paphiopedilum and Australian Natives’. I met Sandra - who is based in Melbourne - when she won Gold in 2013. Sandra was also Highly Commended by the judges of the 2014 Margaret Flockton Award.  I know older artists will be interested in the fact that Sandra only started doing botanical art after she retired!

Hong Kong (China) 

  • Mark Isaac-Williams: ‘The Invasive Chinese Banyan Tree’. From a seedling to a 500 year old house tree, Ficus microcarpa is relentless.  He exhibited at the 17th Annual Filoli Exhibition, USA in 2015


  • Simonetta Occhipinti: ‘The Citrus Fruits of Medici Family’. A study of the ancient collection of citrus fruits which were first grown in the Medici family's Villa in Castello, near Florence, and in the Giardino di Boboli (Palazzo Pitti) in the centre of Florence, at the end of the sixteenth century. Simonetta does not appear to have awebsite and I couldn't find any information online. However I did find a very interesting website about the Medici Citrus fruit and more about the fruit on this nursery site!
The collection of Medici citruses has survived to the present day, despite the many events that took place through the centuries, and is preserved in Florence, in the garden of the Villa Medicea di Castello and the Boboli Gardens. This collection is of particular botanical and historical interest and consists of about a thousand potted plants, large and small, old and young, but in all cases extremely valuable, as they are all descendents of the Medici cultivars.
  • Lidia Vanzetti GM (Italy): ‘Grapes of the Piedmont’ I had the pleasure of meeting Lidia in 2011 when she won a Gold Medal. She also exhibited at the 13th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration at the Hunt.
Lidia Vanzetti in 2011
with her gold-medal winning exhibit of Pears of the Piedmont
copyright: images - Lidia Vanzetti; photo - Katherine Tyrrell


  • Mariko Aikawa SBA: Tillandsia - Marika lives in Japan. She took up botanical art in 2004 and became a member of the Society of Botanical Artists in 2009. She was awarded The Margaret Granger Memorial Silver Bowl in 2011 and Certificates of Botanical Merit at SBA in 2011 and 2012. 
  • Akiko Enokido: ‘Classical Camellia JaponicaShe returned to Japan from the USA in 2012. She exhibited at 18th Annual International American Society of Botanical Artists at
    The Horticultural Society of New York. 
  • Hiromi Hyugo: Leguminous plants
  • Hiroko Jibiki: Gourds
  • Chiyoko Ohmi: ‘The Annual Journey of Paulownia tomentosa
  • Yoko Urano: ‘Orchids’, tempting tropical orchids.


  • Esmée Winkel GM (2013): Recently discovered orchids - Esmee is a botanical illustrator at the  Nationaal Herbarium Nederland of Leiden University, a member of the Dutch Society of Botanical Artists and the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) and a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. Her work cam be found in the collections of the National Herbarium Leiden, the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, the RHS Lindley Library and private (Royal) collections. I interviewed her in 2013 when she won a Gold Medal for her  drawings of Leguminosae - when she told me what she uses when drawing in pen and ink. Those enjoying pen and ink drawings are in for a treat!
Esmee Winkel at the RHS Botanical Art Show in 2013 when she won a Gold Medal
copyright: images - Esmee Winkel; photo - Katherine Tyrrell

South Africa

  • Margaret de Villiers GM (2013): ‘Ericas of the Western Cape Fynbos’ - I met Margaret in 2013 when she won an RHS Gold Medal and Best Painting in the Show for her display of Cape Ericas. You can read an interview with her on my blog. Margaret is following in the footsteps of a very famous botanical artist. Those who know their botanical art history will remember who also painted the Ericas of South Africa. (No clues - answer by way of a comment on this post please!)
Margaret de Villiers at the RHS Botanical Art Exhibition 2013 
- standing next to her painting of Erica Bodkinii which was awarded Best Painting in Show
copyright: images - Margaret de Villiers; photo - Katherine Tyrrell

South Korea

  • Suyeon Kim: ‘Endemic Plants to Korea’, shows six rare and endangered endemic species.
  • SoYoung Sin: Korean endemic plants 


  • Verene Kutter: ‘The Genus Anemone in Central Asia’ - Verene won a Silver Gilt Medal for The Genus Anemone in Flora Europeae in 2014.


  • Maggie Bickerton: Artichokes
  • Lyn Campbell RGBE Dip.BI: Trilliums - Lyn lives in Edinburgh and graduated from the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh's Diploma in Botanical Illustration (High Merit) in 2011. She is also the Secretary of the Edinburgh Society of Botanical Artists.
  • Norma Gregory GM (2006, 2009, 2011), SBA: ‘Edible Beauty’, records the beauty of edible leaves, singly or composite. - Norma has a very strong track record in winning gold medals for her botanical art at the RHS.  The Lindley Library have also purchased three of her exhibited works. I met her for the first time and interviewed her in 2011.  She's a member of the S.B.A Society of Botanical Artists and Leicester Society of Botanical Illustrators and a Fellow of Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society.
A 'Rooted Fascination' by Norma Gregory GM (2006, 2008 and 2011)
copyright: images - Norma Gregory; photo - Katherine Tyrrell

  • Julia Groves: ‘The Healing Garden’ - Julia is a Member of The Bedgebury Pinetum Florilegium Society
  • Carol Hartley: ‘Euphorbia for Temperate Gardens’ - an English painter and illustrator who lives in Dorset. She has a diploma from the English Garden School (2010) and was invited to join the Hampton Court Palace Florilegium Society in 2014. She has previously exhibited with the Society of Botanical Artists and Society of Floral Painters. This is her first time exhibiting with the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Mayumi Hashi GM (2005, 2007), SBA, CPGFS: Plants from Padua Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico di Padova), Italy - Mayumi was born in Japan but now lives and teaches botanical art in  the UK. She won the very first RHS Dawn Jolliffe Botanical Art Bursary and  two Gold Medals from the RHS (and a Silver-Gilt Medal and two Silver Medals). She has work in the Highgrove Florilegium and the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation and is a member of the Society of Botanical Artists, the Chelsea Physic garden Florilegium Society and the Sydney Florilegium Society. In 2010 she was the artist in residence at the Medicinal Plants Garden at the Royal College of Surgeons.
  • Sarah Howard Sherlock: ‘Horn of Africa Aloes’ - She was the illustrator for the Flora of Ethiopia & Eritrea 1997-2000 while living in Africa and has an article coming out in the next edition of the ASBA magazine about the fieldwork done for this particular project. She graduated from the RGBE's Diploma Course with Distinction in 2014 and was awarded a Silver Gilt Medal at BISCOT in 2015. 
  • Iceni Botanical Artists: ‘Breckland Wild Flowers’, is a selection of paintings by Iceni Botanical Artists of the rare and endangered wild flowers found on the heaths and grasslands of Breckland. I think this might be the first time I've seen an entry by a group of botanical artists. This is a group of 23 botanical artists who live in East Anglia.
  • Carolyn Jenkins GM (2011): Hydrangeas -  I'm really looking forward to this exhibit. Carolyn produces paintings that look like small jewels!  You can see paintings of Hydrangeas on her website. Carolyn was awarded a Diploma with Distinction in Botanical Painting at the English Gardening School in 2011 when she also won the ‘Best Student’ award. Her exhibit ‘The Anatomy of Flowers’ won a Gold Medal and the Best Exhibit award at her very first RHS exhibition of botanical paintings in 2011. 
Carolyn Jenkin's exhibit of "The Anatomy of Flowers"
won best Botanical Exhibit in the RHS Botanical Art Show 2011
copyright: images - Carolyn Jenkins; photo - Katherine Tyrrell
  • Pamela Moodie: Growth patterns of plants
  • Sarah Morrish: RGBE Cert BI, SFP, ASBA:   ‘Twigs and Buds in Winter from Trees and Shrubs of Ancient Hedgerows’. This project is based on the ancient hedgerows of the Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve in Dorset. - You can read more about her Art and the Hedgerow project on its blog. Sarah has a Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Certificate in Botanical Illustration and teaches teaches courses and workshops in Hampshire and Dorset, in botanical art and natural history illustration for Dorset Wildlife Trust and other organisations. Sarah is an Associate Member of the Society of Botanical Art and was awarded a Certificate of Botanical Merit at the 2014 exhibition.
Sarah Morrish with her Certificate of Botanical Merit for A View Inside: Echinacea purpurea
inspired by the paintings of Arthur Church
  • Maggie Niagassas: Streliztia reginae
  • Janice Peers: ‘A Bulb For All Seasons
  • Amanda Petty: ‘Biblical Boys’ - a member of the Leicestershire Society of Botanical Illustrators
  • Sally Pond: Alliums - Sally exhibited in 2014 when she got a Silver-Gilt Medal for ' Of autumn mists and mellow fruitfulness'. She obtained her Diploma in botanical painting from the 'English Gardening School' in Chelsea.
  • Roger Reynolds: ‘The Tip of the Branch’, follows the growth of six common native woody plants through the seasons, including microscopic studies of flower and fruit structure, with a separate written botanical explanation. - A member of the Society of Botanical Art and the Institute for Analytical Plant Illustration. He's exhibited with SBA every years since 2013. 
  • Jean Webb: ‘Close Encounters of the Botanical Kind’ 


  • Betsy Rogers-Knox: ‘Milkweed Through the Seasons’. Six watercolor paintings depicting the entire lifecycle of Asclepias syriaca from the ground up. - Bets y completed the Botanical Illustration Program at New York Botanical Garden  in 2006 and is an active member of the American Society of Botanical Artists

Other Exhibitors

I'll be listing the exhibitors in the trade stands area and those artists demonstrating their work on my new Botanical Art and Artists News blog tomorrow.

Tickets for RHS Botanical Art 2016

You can Book tickets for this show in advance.  RHS members (like me) go free.

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