On a recent visit to the The Library Reading Room in the Library, Art and Archives at Kew I came across a commemoration of the work of Pandora Sellars who died on 9th May 2017, age 80 - see below. If you get a chance to visit and look at one of her paintings I very much recommend you do.
Importantly, the commemoration recognises her role as a very important mentor to many botanical illustrators all over the world.
The "British Artists in the Shirley Sherwood Collection" exhibition at The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew Gardens finishes on 17th September 2017. If you haven't been to see it yet I strongly recommend you do so as it includes some iconic work by British Botanical Artists.
I've now seen the exhibition four times and it might seem a bit odd to be doing a review so late in the day, except I've already written about it in:
Since I wrote these, the Gallery has also included British Artists in the Shirley Sherwood Collection.pdf (PDF)on the website - which I urge everybody to download as this is the ONLY formal record of this exhibition (there is no catalogue). It also includes thumbnails of all the paintings in the exhibition.
It has not been possible to hang more than a small proportion of ‘my’ British artists here as I now have 330 works by 86 painters and so I have had to be fiercely selective.
On my last visit I took my time and went round very slowly, looking at the artwork closely. I found that I began to detect themes within the collection which I had missed earlier.
In a way it's a story of a collection, a collector and the development of botanical art in the UK over more than a quarter of a century of collecting.
Hence this post is going to be something of a timeline or retrospective of the collection which started in 1990.
There are three botanical artists in the exhibition who have an artwork on display which was acquired or commissioned in every decade to date. They are Brigid Edwards, Coral Guest and Rory McEwen - who are all members of the small group of what Dr Sherwood refers to as her 'core artists'.
It's going to be interspersed with comments from Dr Sherwood and listings of the artists whose work is featured in each decade. In relation to dates
All quotations are by Shirley Sherwood (from the pdf record of the exhibition) unless otherwise indicated.
WARNING - THIS IS A VERY LONG POST. I suggest you find a comfy place to sit now and if you like finding out about botanical art and artists then you may be some time reading it!
The First Decade 1990-1999
This is an appreciation of the life of Pandora Sellars and contains many contributions by way of 'thank you' for the life of a great botanical artist
The celebrated botanical artist Pandora Sellars GM died on 9th May 2017, age 80. She is perhaps best known by many for two iconic paintings which contributed to the revival of botanical art in the UK
Indeed the lives and careers of many leading botanical artists and teachers in the UK, Canada, USA, Japan and Australia owe much to “the best leaf painter ever”.
This kindly and introverted artist, with the quite remarkable blue eyes and a keen sense of humour, also enjoyed lasting relationships with botanists, archivists and botanical illustrators at Kew Gardens - and across the world.
Read on to find out why... (click link bottom right)
"British Artists in the Shirley Sherwood Collection" does not have a catalogue and there is no list of artists and artworks available at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery. Whenever I've reviewed in the past I've spent ages writing down names and titles - so I asked Kew for the list of artists and works and they've very kindly supplied the labels list.
I'm now converted this into the condensed text list below - mainly so I have a basis for making notes about the paintings as I'm back in the gallery this morning to start my 'homework' for the review proper.
However by including it here, you may well find this list tempts you over to Kew Gardens for a visit!
How this list works
Images are also included below - kindly supplied by Kew. Please do not abuse.
Names of the Artists and Titles of the Artworks
News & Resources
About Botanical Art and
For Botanical Artists
Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
© Katherine Tyrrell 2015-17
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