Friday, June 07, 2019

A Botanical Art Bonaza - in England, Scotland and Ireland

Making A Mark has been quiet for the past week because I've been diligently writing blog posts about juried open botanical art exhibitions opening in England, Scotland and Ireland - at the same time(!) - on my Botanical Art and Artists News blog

Here's a summary - with some pics - of what's going on in London, Edinburgh and Dublin right now!

ENGLAND: Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists (SBA)


the end wall display in the Main Gallery at the Mall Galleries

To date I've written the following posts about "Plantae" the 2019 Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists which is an international exhibition with 431 artworks by c.190 botanical artists

It's on at the Mall Galleries until 1pm on Sunday 9th June - with demonstrations of botanical artwork in coloured pencil (today) and painting on vellum (tomorrow).

It's the SBA's first time at the Mall Galleries. Everybody participating and regular visitors are very impressed with the environment and wonderful lighting and how good the artwork looks. Plus the Manager of the Mall Galleries told me on Tuesday night that he knew it was going to be good but it's actually much better!
Winner of the Joyce Cuming Presentation Plate
The Secret World of Potatoes by Lidiya Doukhnevitch (watercolour £1,500)

Coming up next is
  • a post about those artists who were awarded a Certificate of Botanical Merit - which was judged by Lucy T Smith, who illustrates plants for Kew Gardens.  (These are artists who get judged on science as well as art!)
  • finally, the fourth post will be a review of the exhibition as a whole and a commentary on its move to the Mall Galleries. I've been asking people what they think about the new environment.
Incidentally, the SBA raised the bar considerably by putting their exhibition catalogue online and including images of ALL the artwork in the show.



SCOTLAND: Annual Exhibition of Botanical Images Scotia (BISCOT)


BISCOT is an acronym for "Botanical Images Scotia". It's annual exhibition of contemporary botanical illustration which
  • promotes excellence in botanical painting and illustration.
  • gives both national and international artists an opportunity to exhibit in Edinburgh and presents new and original botanical work.
Each exhibitor creates a display of SIX artworks - and the exhibition is open to and attracts international entrants. In this respect BISCOT is the Scottish equivalent of the RHS Botanical Art Show in London - and is regarded as the top show in Scotland in terms of awards and prestige.

The BISCOT Exhibition is held annually at
  • Gardening Scotland (sponsored by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society) (31 May - 2 June)
  • the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) - John Hope Gateway (5-20 June 2019)​

Sansanee Deekrajang (Thailand) won a BISCOT Gold Medal and Best in Show for her Exhibit of Tropical Palms

BISCOT Medal Winners 2019 is about those artists who won their medals a week ago at the Annual BISCOT Exhibition at the Gardening Scotland show at the Ingliston Showground in Edinburgh

This week the exhibition transferred to the John Hope Gateway at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) where it continues until the 20th June.

I'll be writing another post about this exhibition as it contains a new category - which is the newly launched RBGE Florilegium (see below)



IRELAND: Annual Botanical and Floral Exhibition at Bloom


Iris “Red Rum”” by Siobhan Larkin
Gold Medal and BEST IN SHOW (BOTANICAL)
Last week Ireland's premier juried botanical art exhibition, the 7th Annual ​​Exhibition of Botanical and Floral Art in Bloom opened at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre in Phoenix Park, Dublin - where it remains until the end of June 2019.

Bloom 2019 - Botanical Art Medal Winners is about the award winners in the botanical art side of the Bloom show. Medals for this show are awarded just for one work.

I'm really hoping that at some point Bloom will upgrade to the same type and standard of exhibition as the RHS and BISCOT which both require exhibits of six paintings by each exhibiting artist - and medal judgements are made about the six paintings as a whole.

But maybe that needs to be a different show - linked to and partnered with a Horticultural Society or Botanic Garden. It will almost certainly need to be in a different venue

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