SBA Plantae 2023: Award Winners
Today's post is about the botanical artists receiving awards from the Society of Botanical Artists and Sponsors at Plantae 2023. The annual exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists took place last week at the Mall Galleries in London.
It includes images of the artwork receiving awards and more information about the artists (links to their websites are embedded in their names).
It follows on from
BELOW the various awards are divided into three categories
NOTE: The Plantae 2023 Catalogue sold out and is being reprinted. It should be available from the shop on the SBA website in about two weeks.
Society of Botanical Artists Awards
These are awards which originate within the Society of Botanical Artists and members past and present. Often as a memorial to a particular member
Joyce Cumming Presentation Award
Legacy from Joyce Cuming (a sterling silver Almoner’s plate) - for a beautiful botanical piece; Certificate for the winner | Chosen by the SBA Council
(7) Prunus by Hee-Soon Baik SBAF
Hee-Soon Baik SBAF lives in Korea. Hee-Soon previously exhibited in Plantae 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. She also won the Koran National Arboretum Director General's Award at the Botanical Art Worldwide Exhibition in Korea (at the Korea National Arboretum) in 2018.
She has also told her story of her studies and how her career as a botanical artist has developed when elected to as a Fellow of SBA.
"I am not an art major, but I have always been interested in plants. I observe plants, compare how they differ from other plants, look for data, and start drawing when I have some confirmation.
Margaret Granger Memorial Silver Bowl
Certificate for the winner + Name engraved on the Silver Bowl
For the best work or body of work by a member elected in the last two years | Chosen by Council
Four Wet Autumn Leaves by Izabela Wolska-Kuśmider SBAF
(top row Alnus glutinosa; Bottom row: Quercus robur - image is take from the catalogue as the leaves were separated in the exhibition.) You can see how they were exhibited below.
Izabela Wolska-Kuśmider is Polish and lives in Warsaw. She studied at the Faculty of Architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology. She graduated from the SBA's Distance Learning Diploma Course with Distinction. Iza is a Fellow of The Society of Botanical Artists (SBA) and a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA)
This is about the Certificates of Botanical Merit awarded to artists exhibiting at the Society of Botanical Artists' Annual Exhibition - Plantae 2023 - at the Mall Galleries this week
Below you can find:
The SBA Certificates of Botanical Merit
Unlike some other botanical art exhibitions such as the RHS botanical art shows, the Society of Botanical Artists' Annual Exhibition has traditionally not been a "strictly botanical" show.
This is because the SBA's founder Suzanne Lucas MBE FLS HPRMS PPRMS FPSBA HonSWA HSF BMS (1915-2008) believed very strongly that the portrayal of plants need not always be highly scientific and illustrative - as many flower painters would agree.
“To incorporate more recent techniques and styles in a broader interpretation; combining the scientific and representational, giving a rich and varied view of the wonderful world of plants.”
However, since the SBA was founded, there has been a gradual move towards a much greater emphasis on 'botanical art' and the current exhibition is less about 'flower painting'. This has no doubt been influenced by the development and promotion of the knowledge and skills imparted via the SBA's very popular Distance Learning Diploma Course in Botanical Art which a major innovation in botanical art education when it started.
As a result, the SBA created the award of a "Certificate of Botanical Merit" in order to:
The selection process
Recipients of a Certificate of Botanical Merit are ALWAYS selected every year by a wholly independent Judge who is well qualified in terms of their botanical / horticultural knowledge.
In recent years that person has been Lucy T. Smith GM BVA MVA
The Certificates of Botanical Merit in 2023
Below artists are listed in alphabetical order of their surname - with the image of the artwork getting a Certificate of Botanical Art above and a profile of the artist below. Links in the artist's name go to their website.
Yesterday I visited Plantae 2023 - the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists at the Mall Galleries to view the exhibition and to choose the winner of award I sponsor.
I'll be going back tomorrow - when it will hopefully be a little less crowded - to review again the artwork and the winners of various awards and Certificates of Botanical Merit. There will then be three more posts after this one focusing on:
I'll be focusing in this review on:
Here are the headlines for WHAT'S CHANGED
I'll also be highlighting throughout what I particularly noticed which won't get a mention in other posts.
I'm also going to be uploading photos I took yesterday to my BA&A Facebook Page once this review has been published - and I'll include links here once that's been done.
(Now included below)
What's different about Plantae 2023?
This is an interview with Ines-Hermione Mulford who last summer won the first Making A Mark Award for Botanical Art at Plantae 2022 - the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists (see Plantae 2022 - and a new Award and The Making A Mark Award for Botanical Art)
Part of the award is an interview as a blog post about her artwork. Next week Plantae 2023 opens at the Mall Galleries in London and I'll be on the lookout for the next winner!
The interview with Ines-Hermione covers:
I determined that the criteria for the award is that the winner needed to be somebody who fulfilled one or more of the following
I knew I'd picked somebody with an unusual perspective on how to represent plants - which is why she won the award. What I didn't appreciate at the time was quite how unusual that perspective is!
Last time I saw the painting below it was hanging on the wall in Plantae 2022 in the Mall Galleries. In the Autumn of 2023 it's going to form part of a Bryophyte and Lichen Trail in the Dundee Botanic Garden!
About the artist: Ines-Hermione Mulford
âTell me about yourself. How did you get into art and why are you an artist?
âI have always been creative, something nurtured by my granny with many summer holidays painting flowers in her garden in Devon from a young age, but I was also very interested in science.
When I discovered the work of Leonardo Da Vinci, I think I must have been about 9, It felt like a lightbulb moment. I wanted to be him! I wanted to paint in a way that mimicked reality, I wanted to design, engineer, study science. But growing up it became obvious that past 16 this wasnât really an option. Choosing my A-levels, and on from that university, meant I had to choose either the arts or the sciences. Something that didnât make sense to me, and to be very honest, I still donât get it, in fact I vehemently oppose strict boundaries of learning and wish we were far more interdisciplinary.
Ultimately, I chose art as it was what excited me the most and is largely due to my secondary school art teacher who was an absolute hero. Unsurprisingly I found my practice routed again, and again, in the sciences and I think my career has been very linear, albeit unconventional, since.
At Art school, Edinburgh College of Art, I found my love of classical realism, and chose the anatomy elective which was linked with the medical school there and through that found a love of medicine, that led me to surgical and medical art which is a huge part of my practice now.
I started shadowing surgeons in 2015 where I felt an affinity with their desire, and need, for highly skilled, craft-based work. I am still doing this work today, and actually went back to university to do a Masters in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh to ensure that my research was ethical, something that was invaluable as I have just completed a residency with the Surgeonâs Hall Museum in Edinburgh, producing paintings on the human relationship between surgeon, robot and patient in robotic surgery.
Social Anthropology has been instrumental to developing my career as an artist as both are a looking at and a living with the world around us. They are explorations of the lived experience and the expression of humanity, the natural world and life as we know it. They are both disciplines where subjectivity and personal experience are celebrated.
A lot of my practice as an artist is project based, which feeds that desire in me to learn, and Iâm currently working on two projects, one with Breast Cancer Now, a charity based in London where I am exploring the organisation as a holistic support system; the other is with the University College Dublin teaching hospital Mater Mericordial, visualising their pioneering research in digital biopsies of cancer diagnosis. But it was the robotic surgery which led my personal practice back to the wonderful world of flora.
Seeing the human body through the eyes/lens of the da vinci robot, on a macro level, made me completely rethink how I situate myself in the world. The almost abstract landscape, this alien world that was so foreign and yet part of us, was bizarre yet stunning. I began to notice similarities texture and, after further research, function, to the mosses and lichens that have fascinated me all my life.
For me it has felt very linear, figurative art and realism drove me to study anatomy, which developed my understanding of the human body, leading me to surgery and medicine, the human body, our flesh, functions etc. which led me onto the natural world, its fascinating structures, functions, beauty and our undeniable dependence on it. My practice is interdisciplinary as I feel that art has the ability to be boundary-less, and is all the more successful for it.
About drawing and painting plants
How has your experience in drawing and painting people helped you in drawing and painting plants?
Ooft difficult question! I learnt a lot through painting and drawing people, the skill-based side, so the honed skills of observation and retention, while my background in anatomy helped me to really understand what I was looking at, and not just make things up!
In an âartierâ sense I suppose, I see drawing as an encounter with something. I actually ended up writing my dissertation for my masters on how drawing in the field aids social research.
Drawing is a form of active looking that, each line leads you to see, it is the product of an encounter, while also being an encounter itself. You are in conversation with what is being observed. Whether that is a literal conversation with an individual, or metaphorical!
It is the combination of learning about the anatomy of something, in this instance taking time to really research the structure of the mosses, and then also be led by what you are actually seeing; that engagement is so important and the process of drawing itself.
What do you find appealing about drawing plants generally?
This is a guide to the Call for Entries for Plantae 2023 the Annual OPEN Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists (SBA) in 2023 PLUS prizes - which includes one from me!
The DEADLINE for entry is midnight on 4th March 2023. This guide covers:
FOR THOSE NEW TO THE SBA EXHIBITION
I've been visiting and reviewing the annual exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists since 2006 - to start with on my art blog Making A Mark and latterly on this website.
If you've not submitted before and want to get an idea of the standard of work that gets selected, my blog posts contain a lot of images of artwork selected for hanging (See the end of this article for how to access my reviews.)
Prizes and Awards
Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world. You can also find her at linktr.ee
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