Saturday, September 12, 2015

Review: Florum 2015

It's always a pleasure to go to the Florum exhibition not least because there rather a lot of good drawings, paintings and prints of flowers, plants and gardens on display.

The fact that the nibbles at the Private View are rather scrumptious adds to the attraction.

However this year the main attraction was the fact this is the best Florum exhibition I've seen  to date. It includes some fine and very original fine art printmaking from new artists which was refreshing to see.

Florum 2015

The 2015 Florum Exhibition can be seen at the Visitor Centre at the Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve.

The aim of the exhibition is twofold - it displays a colourful and inspiring mix of works celebrating plant life and raises funds for the Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve where it is held.

The exhibition opens to the public today and continues until next Saturday. It's open every day from 12th - 19th September (10am - 5pm daily) - and I'll be there  stewarding tomorrow!

I'm going to be doing another blog post about this exhibition after I've had a chance to study the artwork more closely tomorrow - and also put together a virtual exhibition - a video slideshow of all the display boards and walls in the exhibition.  I've got the photographs I just need to sew them together!  I'll be highlighting more artwork in that post.

Elizabeth Smail Memorial Award for Colour  and Composition

Bright Berries by Sue. J. Williams

watercolour and graphite
 Sue. J. Williams is the very deserving winner of the 2016 Elizabeth Smail Memorial Award for Colour  and Composition was. Sue is a Fellow of the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society and I've had the pleasure of reviewing her exhibition at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at Kew Gardens.

Her Bright Berries is both very unusual and enormously effective. It was the first work I commented on when leaving my first view of the exhibition.  Knocking the leaves back through the use of graphite really allows us to see the different ways the winter berries cluster and vary in terms of structure and colour.

Wordsworth's Violets by Sue J. Williams

Watercolour (Sold - this one is coming home with me!)
I bought a small work by Sue later in the evening! She's been working on a project to paint all the flowers identified by the poet William Wordsworth.

List of exhibiting artists

The exhibition includesa number of new artists - most of whom are highlighted below.

Each artist's name contains a link to their website or a site related to the artist
  • Sandra Wall Armitage (President of the Society of Botanical Artists)
  • Sarah Ashwell
  • Carole Aston
  • Debra Barr-Smith
  • Ann Bridges
  • Linda Brown
  • Jean Canter RMS PPSGFA UKCPS - in memoriam. I was sad to see that Jean Canter died in May this year. Her friend and fellow exhibitor provided an 'in memorium' statement for the exhibition. Jean was a Past president of the Society of Graphic Fine Art and a member of the Royal Miniature Society and the UK Coloured Pencil Society.
In Memorium - Miniatures by Jean Canter

A top down view on the part of the exhibition which focuses on botanical art 
Exuberant colour and interpretative works in the floral and gardens section of the exhibition

(Left) Mount Pleasant Lane - Early Spring by Sarah Morrish, Watercolour on Vellum £225
(Right) Symacamore Samara Sequence, Watercolour on vellum £200

Rachel Munn with three of her drawings
(Left) Japanese Anemones, Ink with coloured pencil £550
(Center) Spindleberry, Ink with coloured pencil £550
(Right) Sunflowers, Ink with coloured pencil £550

  • Rachel Munn - I adore Rachel Munn's drawings in pen and ink and coloured pencil - not least because these are my two favourite art media! Rachel is also one of the stalwarts of the Organising Committee for Florum.
  • Vicky Oldfield - a new artist this year, her artwork is both large and stunning! She creates collographs.
Vicky Oldfield with her collograph prints
  • Ann Oliver
  • Tessa Pearson - her oil monoprints based on lasercut woodblocks were very effective. Below you can see four - but there are more!
Woodblock prints by Tessa Pearson
  • Janie Pirie - another new artist who exhibited some coloured pencil artwork from her RHS Gold Medal winning suite of  Orchard Fruits

Orchard fruits - with blossom and fruit - by Janie Pirie
Oil paintings by Kate Steele
Coconut by Christiana Webb

  • Sue J. Williams
  • John Woodberry - John is also a new artist this year and is a fine printmaker.  Five of his exhibits are something I've never ever heard of before - a steam print on watercolour paper.
Steam prints by John Woodberry (£450 each)

Previous blog posts about Florum

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