The inaugural exhibition of the Young Botanical Artist competition opened on Friday. On Saturday I was back at Kew for the Private View for the exhibition - which was held in the much larger Marianne North Gallery - because this is a space which can accommodate lots and lots of people - including some 40 young botanical artists from all over the world.!
Following the presentations of Certificates, people moved to the actual exhibition in Galleries 5 and 6 of The Shirley Sherwood Gallery - which then became full of people with their art - and their significant others!
I'll be writing more about the artwork in the exhibition in my next review post.
During the presentation, I was able to video selected artists receiving their certificates and then afterwards photograph some of them with their artwork.
These are links to where you can see those videos on my Facebook Page
I'll be doing another post which considers this exhibition in more detail - and this will also include a link to my video of the exhibition - minus people.
This post is about:
Young Botanical Artist Competition & Exhibition
We believe there is significant talent among the 16-25 age group with a wealth of exciting work to be uncovered. This is a crucial moment to engage with the ever-growing genre of botanical art – the scientific capacity of botanical paintings and drawings to document plants and fungi is particularly vital in contemporary society as we work to preserve our planet’s biodiversity.
The aim of the Young Botanical Artist competition was to encourage young artists to engage with the natural world at a time when preserving our planet’s biodiversity is vital.
The Young Botanical Artist Competition was initiated in 2022 by The Shirley Sherwood
Collection, in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (see my blog post Young Botanical Artist Competition 2022: Call for Entries)
The YBA competition asked artists from two age groups, 16–18 and 19–25, to submit two-dimensional artworks on the theme of ‘Trees’.
Ten of the world’s most renowned botanical artists and curators donated their time
to judge the entries, choosing works that represented their subject creatively, but
with scientific accuracy. The nine Judges, alongside Dr Shirley Sherwood, were:
The panel looked for for botanical artworks that represented their subjects creatively, but with scientific accuracy.
Visitors to the exhibition will be able to vote for their favourite artwork and a People’s Choice award will be announced in April.
I'm absolutely amazed by just how international this exhibition is. I've covered many international art competitions in the past and I can't ever remember getting so many entries from so many different countries - including ones which are not generally recognised as part of the international art scene. I wonder if we'll see some new national art societies developing as a result of this.
From entries to hung artworks
“I couldn’t be more thrilled with the standard of the entries we received for our inaugural Young Botanical Artist competition and I’m grateful to my daughter-in-law Rachel Sherwood for bringing the initiative to life. It’s been fascinating to see such a broad range of responses to the competition and to have received so many entries from across the world. To see first-hand the next generation of talented botanical artists coming to the fore is enormously inspiring.”
You can see images of all the artworks by the age group prizewinners and the runners up at the bottom of the page about the Young Botanical Art competition/exhibition
The winner of the 16-18 Age Group was Prunus serrula (watercolour on paper) by Marianna Zych from Poland. What is particularly noteworthy about this artwork is that
When I saw this Tibetan cherry tree (Prunus serrula) at the Royal Botanic
The winner of the 19-25 Age Group was Bauhinia variegata leaf (watercolour on paper) by Khanh Ly Nguyen from Vietnam. Her small watercolour (below) showcases the intricate detail of this stunning tree.
Two new exhibitions open at the end of this week at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew
The exhibitions open on 20th October 2023 and continue until 7th April 2024.
Mat Colishaw - Petrichor
Mat Colishaw is a 57 year old English artist who works in photography and video. His work includes the creation of digital artworks using NFT and AI. He became well known when his work first surfaced as part of the Young British Artists group in the late 80s.
The Petrichor exhibition at Kew will dominate Galleries 1-5 and
“Bringing Mat Collishaw’s innovative work to the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art is hugely exciting, and this exhibition promises to be an evocative and wonderfully unique experience, unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the gallery before. Drawing inspiration from the natural world and the tradition of botanical art, Mat’s use of cutting-edge technology alongside the innovations of the past makes this exhibition a tantalising prospect for visitors to Kew this autumn.”
Just a reminder that the deadline for the Distance Learning Diploma in Botanical Art offered by the Society of Botanical Artists is TOMORROW 30th September 2023.
Course 21 will commence in January 2024.
You can also read about some of the DLDC assignments that students did in the past to get a sense of what's involved from a student perspective - on my page dedicated to Society of Botanical Art Diploma Course - commentary via blog posts
HOW TO DECIDE ON THE BEST COURSE FOR YOU
You can also check out alternative options for studying via a Diploma or Certificate on my page about Diploma and Certificate Courses in Botanical Art & Illustration in 2022-23 - which I will be updating in the near future.
This also includes a LOT of questions that I recommend every student should ask before making a decision as to which is the best course for them as an individual.
[PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME WITH INFORMATION ABOUT ANY NEW DIPLOMAS OR CERTIFICATES - please use the form at the bottom of the page to provide:
This post covers:
Botanical Art Worldwide - Basic Principles
The second Botanical Art Worldwide Project will focus on and celebrate biodiversity in the crops that have been closely associated with the human species over thousands of years. The theme is designed to draw attention to the vast variety of food and useful plants available, in contrast with the relatively few varieties currently used in mass cultivation. Plants eligible for inclusion are those cultivated for food, textiles, building, energy, and medicine
BAW Central Guidelines
The theme of the Exhibition in 2025 is "Crop Diversity".
Eligible subject matter covers:
Every country needs to comply with the central guidelines which will be produced by the Steering Committee for Botanical Art Worldwide.
These central guidelines has not yet been fully finalised - and hence not yet formalised and published . However these are coming soon and will be prominent on the Botanical Art Worldwide website when available.
BAW International Exhibition
The International Exhibition is going to be digital/virtual and will be available online to everybody around the world and remain on view during May 2025.
(To be honest, I've always thought that the point of going digital is you can remain online - as indeed all the historical art does in the various collections / major projects relating to past botanical artwork and illustrations. Maybe it's an issue of expense? There again YouTube is forever if you so choose.)
Artists around the world are working on this project to:
Components of the BAW Project 2025
BASIC PRINCIPLES of how it will work in every country - as agreed by the Steering Committee.
If your botanical art organisation / botanical garden / museum wants to participate - and your country is not already participating (see list below) - you should
The following are all the participating countries - to date. I expect more will join.
You can see everything that happened around the world on one page on my website - see ARCHIVE: World Wide Exhibition of Botanical Art 2018. It includes a number of images and videos.
I will be setting up a similar page for Botanical Art Worldwide 2025 on this website very soon.
Country Guidelines / Exhibition
Each participating country has a Steering Committee who are organising the country contribution to the International Exhibition.
Within their own country, each country can choose to have as many artworks as they like in a physical exhibition in the country - depending on the space available.
Each country can organise additional lectures, webinars, workshops, demonstrations, and other public programming - during the dates agreed for the opening and closing of the exhibition in that country.
Botanical Art Worldwide in the UK (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
In the UK the contribution to Botanical Art Worldwide is SPLIT - as it was in 2018 - between:
Below you can find out more about
Applications are invited for the £10,000 Botanical Art Prize 2024 awarded by the Finnis Scott Foundation. This is about the Call for Entries, who can apply and how to apply.
In summary, the Botanical Art Prize is dedicated to the practice and promotion of botanical art. It aims
Specifically the £10K Award is:
Previous Winners of this Botanical Art Prize have been:
What follows is about:
The Association of Botanical Artists are TONIGHT hosting a free online webinar about Botanical Art Worldwide 2025 on Zoom for artists from around the world.
DATE: Tuesday 12th September
TIME: 8pm (British Summer Time)
TOPIC: Q&A session focused on the Botanical Art World Wide 2025 exhibition
SPEAKERS: Carol Woodin in conversation with Martin Allen
This session is designed to help answer any questions you may have about this exhibition.
WHO CAN VIEW: The event is open to ALL botanical artists no matter where you live.
This event is NOT just for ABA Members and you do not have to be a member to watch.
LINK: Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86845923213
The webinar is also being recorded and will be available to watch after the event.
DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION?
Botanical Art Worldwide 2025
DATE: 18th May 2025 (i.e. 20 months in the future)
INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION: "Crop Diversity".
The second Botanical Art Worldwide Project will focus on and celebrate biodiversity in the crops that have been closely associated with the human species over thousands of years. The theme is designed to draw attention to the vast variety of food and useful plants available, in contrast with the relatively few varieties currently used in mass cultivation. Plants eligible for inclusion are those cultivated for food, textiles, building, energy, and medicine.
In 2025, Botanical Artists and associated organisations and various institutions from around the world will be collaborating to develop the second Botanical Art Worldwide Exhibition by
All artwork will focus on plants which are included in one of the following categories
When I change the seasonal banners for my website and Facebook Page, I normally try to pick images for each seasonal banner of flowers or fruits which I'm totally confident are correct for the season. However I've been totally seduced by a wonderful album of Chinese watercolours of Asian fruits - and I have absolutely no idea which ones are correct in which season or even what some of the fruits are - despite three trips to the east (Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia) and visiting local markets! Although I think I recognised some....
The main problem is none of the fruits are identified in English and indeed each is identified only by very faint arabic script. However I did recognise the pink pineapple which I regularly see fruiting in the Princess of Wales Glasshouse at Kew.
[Note: feel free to suggest what the fruits are in this image via the comments]
I found the album:
The Harvard reference page states...
Bill Archer and his wife Mildred, an English art historian who specialized in 18th- and 19th-century art in British India, curator of Prints and Drawings at the India Office Library from 1954 to 1980, viewed this album of watercolors at Dumbarton Oaks around 1958 and determined from their style and coloring that the album was most likely painted by a Chinese artist, probably in Malaysia or Sumatra. Archer dated the manuscript to between 1798 and 1810.
while the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library shelflist card apparently states
"Drawn by Indian artists under English influence: probably done in India but has no relation to Chinese artists - check where Chinese were working at this time in India or possibly in Indo-China. Indian artists started this vogue of drawing. Writing is perhaps Malaysian."
Whoever painted them, the first 12 paintings are absolutely fascinating as they are very elaborate compositions which fill the page. they comprise:
Asian artists who go large.....
BAA Visitors so far....
since April 2015
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