Monday, September 12, 2016

13th Florum Exhibition in Sevenoaks - a review of art and artists

Artwork at Florum 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the Private View for the 2016 Florum Exhibition on Friday evening. It's not just that it has some wonderful artwork and the best ever hors d'oeuvres (better than professional caterers!) - but the people who organise and the artists who participate in it are such nice people!

It's therefore very sad to report there will be no Florum in 2017. This is prompted by
  • the fact that the Society of Botanical Artists are having to change their exhibition to the autumn next year and that means two exhibitions involving too many of the same people too close together.
  • the decision by a number of members who have been running it for many years to take a break. Will they be back or will there be a new set of members on the organising committee? - we'll just have to wait and see!
So we shall wait and see whether Florum resurrects itself and if so whether it's at a new time of year and maybe at a new venue with new organisers. Who knows?

I sincerely hope it will keep going as it's a delightful exhibition and sales are always very brisk!

Review of Florum 2016

The aim of the exhibition is to create artwork inspired by plant life. It's emphatically not a "strictly botanical" exhibition but that makes it all the more appealing to a wider range of visitors.

The exhibition maintains its normal high standards although I think I might be right in saying there are fewer works being exhibited this year. I do know that last year there was a surge in larger works creating a complete nightmare for those designing the hanging - and this might be the reason.

The strength of the exhibition lies in its diversity
  • one room places an emphasis on botanical art in all its different forms 
  • the other room includes artwork which is stimulated by flowers, gardens and the landscape - anything which involves plant life. Work includes diverse media from miniatures to jewellery to fine art prints, textile art and paintings in various media
I'll be putting a slideshow together of the exhibition. However this takes a little time to prepare so below you'll see some of the images from the exhibition. You can see more photos of the artists with their artwork on my Botanical Art and Artists Facebook Page (which you can see irrespective of whether you have a Facebook account - however you can only comment if you are on Facebook).

Exhibition details

Venue: Kent Wildlife Trust Sevenoaks Reserve,
Bradbourne Vale Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3DH
Dates: 10th - 17th September 2016 (daily)
Times: 10.00 - 5.00

List of exhibiting artists

The exhibition includes a number of new artists. Each artist's name contains a link to their website or a site related to the artist. The list is interspersed with artwork by the artists - and photos of the artists with their artwork!

Sarah Ashwell with her delightful small watercolour on vellum of Selfheal and Black Medick
Paintings by Debra Barr-Smith
(Large) Acrylic on canvas (small) Gouache, ink and gold leaf
Chris Birbeck and four large works - which were much admired
(textile felting and embroidery)
Autumn Fragments
by Susan Christopher Coulson

Coloured pencil on Bristol Board
  • Chris Birbeck - a new exhibitor whose felted and textile embroidered artwork was universally admired. Chris is an art teacher who began making art using textiles after she retired. I enjoyed her explanations of she makes her work which she creates using experimentation and developing new techniques using hand and machine stitching. She starts with drawing and what she finds in her garden and the landscape around her home. All the money raised through sales of her artwork goes to Cancer Research UK - and her art business is called Heartfelt! 
  • Linda Brown
  • Susan Christopher-Coulson VPSBA (Vice President of the Society of Botanical Artists) - as usual Susan includes some wonderful large assemblies of plant material in this exhibition
  • Yvonne Collard
  • Claudia Coombs - a new exhibitor
  • Marianne Cox
  • Joanna Craig-McFeely
  • Julia Craig-McFeely
  • Susan Dalton - I particularly admired her watercolour of Solomon's Seal (see below - top row, second from left)
a display of green based artwork
  • Pamela Davis VPRMS, SWA, FSBA, HSF - miniatures
  • Margaret Devitt
  • Margaret Eggleton 
  • Tsuyako Elliott  - Tsuyako has previously exhibited with Florum as a student of Mayumi Hashi, but joins this year as an artist and newly elected member of the SBA. She painted the tulip tree which you can see in the image at the top of this post.
  • Carole Flanders ARMS SLM HS - miniature painter
  • Felicity Flutter - exhibits regularly around Kent and the South East. She is a a committee member for South East Open Studios. and the Cranbrook Art Show and an associate member of The Society of Graphic Fine Art.  I was impressed with her detailed portrayal of a tree in autumn which highlights the difference between leaves on the tree and the ground.
Felicity Flutter with Autumn Leaf Shadows
(watercolour and graphite pencil) £975
Winner of the Elizabeth Smail Award for colour and composition
Tulip Tumult (sold) by Lady Jackie Gethin 
  • Jackie Gethin
  • Pauline Grove SWA SBA SFP
  • Julia Groves
  • Lesley Hall - makes floral and plant based jewellery (see the photo of her stand at the end)
  • Amber Halsall - always creates a splash of colour!  This time it's based on Daniel Smith's Moonglow paint created from a blend of three pigments producing an unusual colour range.
Amber Halsall with Moonglow
(watercolour and coloured pencil) £925

Helen Hanson with her Kentish Spring series
focusing on trees and hedges in Spring
all framed works £250
  • Helen Hanson is one of the organisers of the Florum exhibition. This year she is exhibiting her Kentish Spring Series which you can also see on her website (where four are also available as prints).
  • Jan Harbon
  • Christina Hart-Davies - Christina's new book A Wild Plant Year is available to buy at the exhibition - and one of her paintings is coming home with me!  I observed to her that including a painting about "Seven Oaks" was going to more or less guarantee a sale given the location of the exhibition. Christina grinned (you'll note the red spot!) and said she's found it's worked well in the past. Each time she finds a new way each time to portray seven oaks. It's a point worth remembering for those exhibiting. It's always a good idea if you have artwork which ties in to the locality of the exhibition - especially if it's one which gets a lot of visitors!
Her work is exquisite, sure and highly professional. She can make the tiniest little brown twig or dead leaf an object of desire. We are fortunate to have her as our designer at FlorumFlorum website
Christina Hart Davies with two of her watercolour paintings
(top) Seven Oaks (sold)
(Bottom) Spring Gleaning £180

Mayumi Hashi with two of her watercolour paintings
(top left) 'Himalayan Musk Rose' £400
(bottom left) Magnolia Sieboldii £350
Fine art prints - and a pen and ink drawing by Vicky Oldfield (£150-£695)
Tessa’s bold abstract prints are mostly original monotypes using oil etching inks, built up in many layers and richly textured with additional elements of collage, hand painting and individual laser cut woodblock printed imagery.
Oil on Paper with Woodblock prints by Tessa Pearson
(Top) Hedgerows Agapanthus Stripe (£550)
(Bottom) Blue Grey Allium Stripe (£550)
Roger Reynolds with his two paintings of wild flowers - which I always like to see in exhibitions
(bottom left) Meadow Crane's-bill £320
(top right) Deadly Nightshade £210
Miniatures by Joyce Rogerson 
watercolour on vellum - all £270
Sue Scullard
Wood engravings by Sue Scullard
(£75 and £110)
  • Sue Scullard - her wood engravings are also available as unframed prints and are very popular
  • Billy Showell - Billy has five watercolour paintings in the exhibition (between £295 and £395) and celebrated a "big" birthday in the last few days (see her Facebook Page
Blue Flower Foundlings (sold) by Billy Showell
  • Alison Smith
  • Tessa Spanton - a silk painter the lady who first told me about Florum! This is her blog
  • Kate Steele DipSBA(dist) SFP OPC - produces large and colourful oil paintings
  • Penny Stenning
  • Judi Stone
  • Charlotte Tabor
  • Katherine Tyrrell - that's me!
One of my four drawings in pen and ink and coloured pencil
Spots and Stripes (Astrophytum and Haworthia) £350
A board of non-floral images in greys and browns and oranges
(left - top and bottom) Silver Bark and Walnut Bark Bark Studies
in Coloured Pencil by Rachel Munn (£400 each)
(2nd column - bottom) Cardiocrinum giganteum - seed pod studies
in pen and ink and coloured pencil - by Katherine Tyrrell (£300)
3rd column - top Skeleton Crew by Christina Hart Davies (sold - to me!)
(3rd column - bottom) - English Oak, a watercolour painting by Christiana Webb (£1,700)
Floral Jewellery by Lesley Hall
Red dots were being applied before
the Private View had opened!

You can also see examples of the artists exhibiting on in three galleries on the Florum website: gallery one; gallery two; and gallery three.

Past Exhibitions

Given that we don't yet know when the next exhibition of Florum will be - or indeed if there will be one - I thought it appropriate to record all my previous reviews of Florum exhibitions that I have attended.
Here's hoping we have more delightful Private Views in future!

Sue J Williams and Helen Hanson on a brief break from logging sales and distributing red dots!

1 comment:

  1. What a fabulous exhibition and such a high standard of work. I wish I lived nearer so could go along.


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