I met Dr. Nigel Pickering at the Private View of the last RHS Botanical Art Show in July 2019 and was very impressed with his exhibit. I came back the next morning and much as I had expected his exhibit - it had been awarded a Gold Medal
Nigel John Pickering came to botanical illustration late in life. He was a qualified doctor who had worked as a General Practitioner, latterly at the of Malmesbury Primary Care Centre. On retirement he studied botanical illustration with Julia Trickey and subsequently joined the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society and Cirencester Botanical Artists.
I met Nigel when he showed for the first time at the RHS Botanical Flower Show in July 2019. I found out that he was very interested interested in botany, plants and conservation particularly in rare and unusual plants 'living on the edge'. (plants of mountains and desert regions). He'd travelled to South Africa for his exhibit of Treasures of the Richtersveld (in graphite and watercolour - in the tradition of Auriol Batten). The exhibit was both very unusual and very striking. He was awarded a well deserved RHS Gold Medal. I had every expectation he's be back with another exhibit as he had very obviously enjoyed the show and I was certainly looking forward to seeing his next exhibit.
He died on 14th January 2021 at home.
This is my third obituary for a botanical artist in the last two months - all relating to people who had been ill for some time - and two relate to artists who exhibited at that 2019 RHS Show.....
At this time of a pandemic, we must always remember that any death for any reason is always so very sad for those who are family and friends of the deceased. I send my condolences to Nigel's family and friends. By all accounts, he was somebody who was very much liked and appreciated by all those who knew him.
The funeral service is private and will be followed by a Memorial Service. Donations welcome for The Brain Tumour Charity or Dorothy House Hospice (see Death Notice)
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Yesterday I sat down in front of my television - switched to YouTube, found the Linnean Society YouTube Channel - and watched an excellent video about "Exploring the Future of Botanical Image Making | Laurence Hill" - which you also can see below. It's
Our digitally connected world is profoundly image led yet the practice of botanical image making, and types of image commissioned is little changed in several hundred years. Laurence Hill uses examples from the Fritillaria Icones Project, to look at structuring images for online use and wider uses within botanical science and science communication.
I've known Laurence for some time - having first met him at the RHS Show in 2014 where he was exhibiting his botanical photography about Fritillaria. He is a botanical researcher who happens to take photographs to reveal different ways of recording plants. (see below)
He is always pushing the boundaries and thinking about new ways in which botanical images can tell stories and be more accessible to help others tell their stories.
The reason I'm highly recommending this video to botanical artists is that some of the things Laurence has to say will, I know, stimulate some artists into rethinking what they are doing in terms of drawing / painting / displaying / sharing images of plants. It's that basic. Laurence challenges the traditional and asks us to consider ways in which the effort employed might be made informative and useful and tell stories and help people understand the world we live in rather better. I'd be very surprised if there was no change in practice as a result of all the botanical artists watching this video.
Note: One of the good things about the Linnean Society is they've been recording lectures via video for some time. I also recommend a meander through the content on their YouTube Channel
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