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)
The new exhibition Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew Gardens is very definitely a LANDMARK exhibition of contemporary botanical art - and one woman's dedication and commitment. It's significant in size and scope and is very impressive to the point of being quite overwhelming.
I'm very happy to highly recommend it to all those interested in botanical art and/or watercolour painting and/or plants and nature in general.
I think it's the first time in the 11 year history of the gallery that the entire gallery has been given over to paintings from The Shirley Sherwood Collection. Normally exhibitions on a theme have been a mix of artwork (and/or other items) from the Kew Collection and the Shirley Sherwood Collection.
However, this exhibition is rather different. It celebrates
As such this exhibition has a much more personal feel. It's also organised by geographical area - in terms of where the artists live rather than where the plant comes from - with notes from Dr Sherwood about how she met artists in the different countries - which provides insight into how the collection developed over time.
(Note: It struck me that it would be interesting to see another exhibition - with artwork organised by plant family. I don't think we've had one since The Art of Plant Evolution).
I've never ever seen so many artworks in the galleries - and one senses from the number of artworks in the exhibition that it's been very difficult to prune the list of artworks that Dr Sherwood wanted to include in the exhibition!
The net effect is that the exhibition is quite overwhelming - meaning it takes quite a long time to get round and do it justice!
This is only an overview. As I was walking around I very quickly decided that it would be absolutely impossible to do it justice in one blog post/review. Over lunch at the Pavilion Restaurant I tried to work out what to do. I've decided to repeat what I did with the lists of the artists whose work is on display - and do each gallery and geographical area in turn.
As a minimum (i.e. there may be more!), I will review each gallery exhibition in turn - one country or continent each week. I'm not quite sure of the order yet - maybe the one I followed as I viewed the exhibition late last week. For the record:
Find out about the South African artists whose artwork has been selected for display in the new exhibition Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art at Kew Gardens - which celebrates 30 years of collecting 1,000+ artworks for the Shirley Sherwood Collection of Contemporary Botanical Art.
This is the fifth in my series of posts about the artists in the exhibition.
This retrospective exhibition of Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art is at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at Kew Gardens. It opened yesterday and continues until 15th March 2020.
Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art
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