Last night I attended the Private View of "Brazil - a Powerhouse of Plants" which is currently on display at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. The exhibition continues until 29 August 2016.
This exhibition focuses on plants of Brazil in general and botanical artwork made by Margaret Mee in particular. It also includes paintings by other artists - including the Margaret Mee Scholars - of which more tomorrow.
As usual, it comprises images from the Kew Collection and the Shirley Sherwood Collection.
The Director of Kew Gardens, Richard Deverell, emphasised the fact that Brazil is the most floralistically diverse country in the world. Some 46,000 species can be found growing in the country of which about half are endemic to Brazil and grow nowhere else. By way of comparison, the UK has about 2,000 species.
The Royal Botanic Gardens have had very strong connections with Brazil for quite a while. (The Kew website highlights the number of projects Kew is involved within tropical America)
He also highlighted now botanical illustrators of the past used to pursue their plants with 'steely determination' and how Margaret Mee used to pack a revolver along with her paints and brushes on her earliest trips into the Amazon Rain Forest.
He applauded the exhibition as presenting the chance to explore the range and diversity of Brazilian flora - without the need to pack a revolver!
Shirley Sherwood highlighted the fact that the exhibition includes both the very first painting in Brazil done by Margaret Mee - the Cannonball tree - and the very last - the Moonflower Cactus.
She described the contents of the different galleries and what the artists in each contributed to the overall exhibition.
There were lots of people from all over the world at the PV including:
Brazil: a powerhouse of plants: Margaret Mee, pioneering artist and her legacy opened yesterday at Kew Gardens.
The exhibition is on display at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art until 29 August 2016, 10am to 5pm.
The aim of the exhibition is to highlight artwork of the botanical flora of Brazil by various artists past and present. It includes artwork from the collections of both Kew gardens and Dr Shirley Sherwood.
The paintings of Margaret Mee - an English artist who went to live in Brazil - are a prominent feature of the exhibition. Mee's 15 trips into the Amazon Rain Forest recorded the diversity of its plant life - and new plants were also discovered on her trips.
As well as her paintings, visitors to the exhibition will also be able to see to trace her footsteps via a map of her travels and see other artifacts from her expeditions - including paintbrushes, paint pots and sketchbooks.
You can find out more - About Margaret Mee - on a NEW page on this website
The exhibition also includes:
You can read more about the exhibition in this post Discovering Brazil in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art by Joanne Yeomans in the Kew Gardens Library, Art and Archives blog
There is also a linked exhibition - Orchids 2016. If visiting the exhibition before 6th March you can also view the transformation of the Princess of Wales Conservatory into a celebration of Brazil’s plant life and habitats.
The current exhibition - Nature's Bounty - at The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew will close next Sunday 31st January 2016.
The exhibition is open every day 10.30am to 3.45pm.
This is about the three exhibitions about to close at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew Gardens - and the NEW exhibition which opens on 29th August 2015.
Nature's Bounty: paintings from the Shirley Sherwood Collection
The new exhibition Nature's Bounty: paintings from the Shirley Sherwood Collection will open on 29 August 2015 and continue until 31 January 2016. The Gallery is open every day 10am to 5.30pm except Mondays. From 25 October the exhibition will close at 3.45pm. The price of entry is included with the admission price to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.
Subject: Fruit and plants from around the world - including paintings of the development of fruit in stages which requires months of periodic observation, waiting for fruit to develop so that every stage can be illustrated.
Scope: Paintings from the Shirley Sherwood Collection plus items illustrating fruit, from Kew’s Library, Art and Archives collections.
Featuring botanical artwork by....
This time I'll be doing the review of the exhibition soon after it opens!
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Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
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