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.
The Exhibiting Excellence Awards at the Society of Botanical Artists' Annual Exhibition were introduced by SBA Council to highlight
Below I provide:
I've chosen an image below for the Introduction of the two artworks which got an award for Exhibiting Excellent in Dry Media (Graphite) - hung next to one another.
Plantae 2023 Exhibiting Excellence Awards
The EXHIBITING EXCELLENCE at Plantae 2023 cover a variety of differentiating factors:
The numbers after the title of the artwork below refer to the number in the Catalogue for Plantae 2023.
Exhibiting Excellence: Colour & Composition
There were two awards for colour and one for composition.
Inspiring Use of Colour
Canna Lily (102) by Janice Gazetas
(watercolour on paper)
Janice Gazetas BSc (hons) PGCE SBA Fellow has always loved drawing and painting. Born in 1951 and brought up in Lincolnshire. She studied Botany and Zoology at University before training to be a teacher. She has worked as a Research Scientist and after having two children, trained as a teacher. got her PGCE and specialising as a science teacher in a Primary School. Like many, she returned to painting only after she retired. She became a Fellow of the SBA in 2019.
I am interested in the complex and unexpected, both in structure and colour.
She has exhibited previously with the Society of Botanical Artists, the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, Society of Women Artists in the UK and the Botanical Art Agency Of Korea in Korea.
What I liked about her Canna is that it very much reminded me of those that I enjoy in the tropical Garden at Great Dixter which is a real challenge to walk through once they're full on in midsummer with the leaves twisting and turning.
Her botanical paintings are typically complex, bright and intense. However, I found one of her other paintings in the exhibition - a close cropped view of eucalyptus trees - caught my eye every time I walked past and insisted I looked at it - and yet this was relatively subdued compared to her normal botanical paintings.
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
BAA Visitors so far....
since April 2015
Subscribe to BAA News
Blog posts are emailed to you when you SUBSCRIBE to "Botanical Art and Artists - News" by Email
Your email subscription to this blog is ONLY activated IF you verify the link you will receive. You can unsubscribe at any time
It will NOT be used for anything else and will NEVER be given to anybody else.
EVERY DAY FOLLOW News about botanical art + links to new BAA blog posts on Botanical Art and Artists on Facebook
© Katherine Tyrrell 2015-23
Unauthorised use or duplication of ANY material on this blog without written permission is strictly prohibited. Please also respect the copyright of all artists featured here.
What's your news?
This blog highlights news - in brief - about botanical art exhibitions around the world.
Use the Contact form to tell me about an exhibition and provide a summary of relevant information. If listing your event I will ask you for relevant images.
The Best Botanical Art Instruction Books
Tap the pic to check out my recommendations
The Best Books about Botanical Art History
Tap the pic to check out my recommendations
Workshops, Classes & Courses
Find out about botanical art workshops, classes courses offered by various organisations and artists in:
Read other Botanical Art Blogs
READ Blogs about botanical art and/or by botanical artists & illustrators
BAA News Archives
This page Botanical Art & Artists on my main blog has an archive of blog posts about past exhibitions of the Society of Botanical Art and Artists
News Blog about artists, awards, exhibitions etc.
- Calls for Entries
- Exhibitions around the world
- Online Exhibitions
- RHS Exhibitions
- Hunt Exhibitions
- Botanical Art Societies - national / regional / local
- Florilegium & Groups
- Botanical Art Groups on Facebook
- Tips and Techniques
- Best Botanical Art Instruction Books
- Directory of Teachers
- Directory of Courses
- Online Botanical Art Courses
- Diplomas and Certificates
- Talks, Lectures and Tours
ART MATERIALS (Paper / Vellum)
BOTANY FOR ARTISTS
- Scientific Botanical Illustration
- Best Botany Books for Artists
- Plant Names & Botanical Latin
BOTANIC GARDENS & Herbaria
Please send me .
- news to share
- info. about exhibitions
- any suggestions for what you'd like to see on this website
Contact me if you'd like to promote workshops and courses on this site.
This website is free to you but not for me! (See Affiliate Income below)
Cookies, Personal Data & Privacy tells you how this site relates to and impacts on you and your privacy - and your choices.
Product & company names may be trademarks of their respective owners
About Affiliate Income: This website has been created to share information not to make a profit. I am an Amazon Associate and earn from qualifying purchases (e.g. books from Amazon) which helps offset costs associated with maintaining this very large website.