Back in 2020, one of the significant botanical exhibitions of the year was that of "Botanic Endeavour" - in Sydney. This was the second exhibition - in association with the publication of a new book (see below) - by the Florilegium Society of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney (RBGS).
This, of course was the year, when public spaces were being locked down and then reopening and then locking down again. At the same time that people were being careful about where they travelled and how and which public spaces they visited. It really wasn't a great year for art exhibitions.
My recollection is that the planned exhibition was cancelled. Then in November 2020, a webinar was held to talk about the second project, the book and the paintings
It's really pleasing therefore to hear that there's going to be another chance to see Botanic Endeavour: The Florilegium Society celebrates the Banks and Solander Collections. This announcement feels like it provides another opportunity for all those who were playing it safe, not travelling and not going to exhibitions in 2020 - or 2021.
The Society will present an exhibition of 50 recent botanical paintings linking the historic Banks’ and Solander specimens held in the National Herbarium of NSW with the Living Collection of the three Gardens. This project was created to mark the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s voyage in the Endeavour in 2020.
Curated by Colleen Morris, the focus is on these historic specimens; drawing attention to the time and place of their collection, their history and inviting reflection on their significance to science, to the Indigenous peoples, to those collecting them and to the Gardens now.
Some of the newly digitised Banks’ and Solander collection images will be displayed along with more treasures from the Daniel Solander Library including some of the Banks’ Florilegium plates and his specimen cabinet.
Details of the exhibition are below:
The majority of the Banks and Solander specimens represented in the new works were collected at Botany Bay and the remainder from several locations in Queensland. Fresh plant material was sourced in many ways; with the co-operation of the botanic gardens in Cambridge, Oxford and Kew in the UK and a specialist nursery in California as well as from the three Gardens of the Trust in Australia. One artist sourced seeds from Western Australia and grew them in Cambridge; another painted from plants on the Amahlongwana River in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In Australia, some material was obtained from specialist nurseries and grown on at home; naturally, many grow in Sydney and the areas of collection in Queensland.
Botanic Endeavour - the book
Those visiting the exhibition will have a chance to buy the Botanic Endeavour book. Those living further afield, who would like a copy can find out more about it - and the first book - on my page about the Florilegium Societies.
Just scroll down until you get to Australasia and The Florilegium Society at The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust.
Esmee Somers Winkel has won the First Prize in the 17th Margaret Flockton Award 2021. The award comes with $5,000 but is most prized for its highly prestigious nature within the scientific botanical illustration community.
Esmee is a a professional scientific illustrator working in the Netherlands. This First prize follows on from
This post covers: (in order)
The Margaret Flockton Award
Margaret Flockton Award is unique amongst international art awards, focusing exclusively on contemporary scientific botanical illustration, as distinct from botanical art RBG Sydney Flickr Album Margaret Flockton Award 2021
The Margaret Flockton Award is specifically about scientific botanical illustration. It's prestigious because it is the ONLY award dedicated to the excellence and expertise demonstrated by those who produce botanical illustrations to an exactly scientific standard for botany and botanists
As a result, entries are typically:
This competition and exhibition is International. Scientific botanical illustrators from around the world are invited by the curators of the exhibition at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney to:
REVIEW my dedicated page for The Margaret Flockton Award for Excellence in Scientific Botanical Illustration
The Criteria used to judge the Award are listed below:
Reproducability is extremely important, because the nature of our work is that it is reproduced so anything too delicate can be lost on reduction.
While other awards will look for accurate interpretation and portrayal plus technical and artistic merit, this is the only award which specifically considers illustration from the perspective of the scope for reproduction in scientific publications (i.e. the whole purpose of the illustration is to communicate to a wide community of interest via printed or digital matter).
The Judges for the 2020 Award were all from the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney.
Apparently they had 25 illustrations two days before the deadline and on the Monday morning they had 103! Next year the Judges would appreciate receiving illustrations earlier if that's at all possible! :)
About the Prizewinners
FIRST PRIZE ($5,000) Esmee Winkel, The Netherlands - for Notoleptopus decaisnei (ink)
(see illustration at the top of this post)
Esmee's illustrated has been awarded the First Prize for its exacting skilful technique and perfectly balanced composition. The clarity of the strong line is complemented by the perfectly rendered elements, with a concise stipple techniques used only where required to convincglu describe form. Line weight is also used to describe shadows and depth. The illustration reveals the life cycle and key features of
My commentary: I'm reading that as a lot of appreciation and applause for
Esmee Winkel is a professional scientific illustrator who specialises in botanical illustration and works as a Scientific illustrator and Botanical artist for the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden and at the Hortus Botanicus, Leiden in the Netherlands.
She has previously won second prize in the Margaret Flockton Award 2017.
Other prizes she has won include
Irish botanical illustrator Deborah Lambkin, who works in the UK as the RHS Orchid Artist, has won the Margaret Flockton Award 2020 for the scientific botanical illustration of a new orchid.
Unusually this year the announcement of the prizewinners was made by Denise Ora, the Executive Director of the Royal Botanic Sydney via video (see below).
Below the video is:
Crops of the images are included in this post. You can see much better images in the Flickr Album Margaret Flockton Award 2020 - which also contains all 63 artworks selected "for exhibition"
Margaret Flockton Award 2020
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