The two new exhibitions at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art in Kew Gardens for the Spring and Summer opened on Saturday. This evening there is a Private View, which I'm attending.
The exhibitions are:
British Artists in the Shirley Sherwood Collection
This is one of the paintings in the exhibition. Many will recognise the image above as the one which features on the cover of Contemporary Botanical Artists - which was the very first book about the Shirley Sherwood Collection.
It's a painting of a blue water lily by Pandora Sellars who is a botanical artist much admired by Dr. Sherwood. Indeed the very first painting in her collection was by Pandora Sellars. She participated in many botanical art exhibitions and had a solo exhibition at Kew in 1990. She was also awarded the Jill Smythies Award for excellence in botanical illustration by the Linnean Society in 1992.
This particular painting exemplifies one of the main ways which Dr Sherwood supports botanical art. This painting is the result of a commission by Dr. Sherwood back in 1993, and was painted from specimens supplied by a tropical nursery and was completed in 1995. As is often the case with commissions, it's impossible to get the entire painting done in one season. In this case the blooms were done in one season and the leaves in the next. The design is particularly strong with the shape and form of the lily pads providing a backdrop for the flowers.
In the book it's referred to as Nymphea capensis although the title Kew has given me is Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea. Apparently they're synonyms as Cape blue water lily, Nymphaea capensis is no longer regarded as a distinct species and has been sunk into the Nymphaea nouchali genus.
Another work by Pandora Sellars in the exhibition is Pontederia cordata.
Other artists in the exhibition
The Shirley Sherwood Collection currently includes 330 works by 86 British botanical painters. The range of artwork within the collection enables an exploration of the changing style and approach of botanical artists, through experimentation with medium and scale over the years.
Other artists in the exhibition include:
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Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
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