Last year, the Margaret Flockton Award had the most entries ever for this prestigious award for contemporary scientific botanical illustration.
This year, the organisers are expecting a repeat - and lots and lots of entries. So you need to make sure you enter your very best work!
46 artists from 21 countries submitted works in a time before the world paused.
Who can enter the Margaret Flockton Award?
Entries are welcomed from all those who generate scientific illustrations of plans.
All previous winners of the Margaret Flockton Award are eligible to enter, excluding the 2018, 2019 and 2020 first prize winning artists.
Typically, the people who submit illustrations for this award - and win awards - are professional botanical illustrators / people who produce scientific botanical illustrations for botanical gardens and botanists on a regular basis. However they' are NOT the only people who enter.
Enthusiastic botanical illustrators make up at least half the entries and this competition is NOT limited to those who generate income producing scientific botanical illustrations - and scientific illustration entries from a wider group are always welcomed.
What can you submit?
The page relating to the Award includes a Guide to Scientific Botanical Illustrations - which I recommend you read before processing any further.
How to submit an entry
ALL the specific details regarding submission of artwork and paperwork can be found at https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/Science/Botanical-Illustration/The-Margaret-Flockton-Award - scroll down to ‘Entry Requirements’.
High resolution for judging and exhibiting:
Note: Those who have already submitted images need to note that these will be processed along with all of the other entries after the deadline of March 12.
All entries will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Margaret Flockton Award 2021 Exhibition
NEW Venue: The Calyx, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Exhibition Dates: Monday 7 June - 20 June 2021
The exhibition will also be seen - on dates to be advised - at two additional venues within the Royal Botanic Gardens i.e.
For all those who cannot get to Australia, the entries will also be available to view online in the Margaret Flockton Flickr Gallery which will be published on Friday 11 June, 2021
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)
Nirupa Rao is a very impressive botanical illustrator based in Bangalore, India. She has generated more press for her activities as a botanical illustrator - and for the importance of plants and tackling 'plant blindness' - than most of her peers around the world.
Her aim is to work toward promoting the cause of science communication, as well as deepening the intersections between art and science. Her work is inspired by regular field visits into the wild, and informed by close collaboration with natural scientists to achieve accuracy.
I highly recommend you watch her TED Talk (see video below) about her work - and how she tackled the illustration of
A National Geographic Young Explorer, Nirupa received a grant to create her book Hidden Kingdom—Fantastical Plants of the Western Ghats (published in 2019).
In 2019, she participated in a Plant Humanities program at Harvard University's Dumbarton Oaks Research Centre, and was due to participate in a show at their museum in 2020, which has been postponed due to COVID-19.
She recently collaborated with the Centre for Wildlife Studies in India on Wild Shaale ('Wild School' in Kannada), an environmental and conservation-education program designed for rural school-going children, aimed at nurturing interest and empathy toward India’s wildlife and wild places.
She has also been
During the COVID-19 lockdown, she
In addition, she has illustrated
You can find Nirupa Rao as follows:the page about "Botanical Artists in Asia" Page)
This is a lovely video about the activities of the School of Botanical Art & Illustration at Denver Botanic Gardens. It was made to celebrate:
Below is the video on the (public) Facebook Page for the SBAI but if you prefer to view on YouTube this is the link
The video highlights how the School is only the third group to win an RHS Gold Medal (in 2017) in the history of the Royal Horticultural Society - and I was extremely pleased to be able to photograph Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, Ph.D., D.Sc. at the time. Mervi led the School as Manager for the last 13 years until her retirement earlier this year. Much of what I have admired about the School has been down to initiatives by Mervi.
I'm looking forward to meeting up with her again when Covid lets her husband and her embark on their retirement tour of Europe!
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REFERENCE LINKS: The School of Botanical Art & Illustration at Denver Botanic Gardens
If you'd like to know more about the School these links tell you a lot.
For educational organisations interested in submitting an exhibit to the RHS Botanical Art Show as a Group, can I refer you to:
The 15th Biennial Exhibition of The Art of Botanical Illustration 2020 (TABI) is presented by The Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.
This year for the first time it is a Virtual ONLINE Exhibition. I guess, whichever country we live in we're now getting used to these in the age of the Pandemic.
The Friends are to be congratulated on producing a well constructed and beautiful online exhibition. I particularly like the fact that we get a profile for each artist included in the exhibition. It not only helps the artist with raising their profile - it also helps the buyers who often want to know more about "who painted this?"
About the 15th Biennial TABI Exhibition
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