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.
(51) Autumn Hedgerow by Christina Hart-Davies GM (1984, 1986, 1988, 1992, 2018) SBAF
Christina Hart-Davies has been a professional botanical artist for 40+ years. Her degree was Typography and Graphic Communication and she worked for many years on the development of educational books.
(53) Handkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrata) by Sandra Doyle CBM
Sandra Doyle is a professional natural history illustrator and has been illustrating the natural world for over 30 years. Using watercolour, ink & coloured pencils she has provided artwork for many natural history publications, including those from Princeton University Press, Oxford University Press, Dorling Kindersley, Bloomsbury & New Holland. Her paintings have also been selected for numerous and diverse art exhibitions and won a number of awards.
In the past her SBA Awards have included:
(58) Firewheel (Strenocarpus sinuatus) by Melinda Edstein SBAF
Melinda Edstein also won an Exhibiting Excellence Award for Use of Dry Media (Coloured Pencils)
Melinda grew up in Sydney with a keen interest in nature, science, and art. In 1982, she graduated from Sydney University in 1982 with a first class Honours degree in Veterinary Science. She then worked for many years as a small animal vet - and also married and raised raising four children. Finally she decided to pursue her interest in art.
(107) Zea mays 'Glass Gem' by Alexandra Gorchakova SBAF
Alexandra Gorchakova was born in 1990 in Yaroslavl (in Russia) and worked as a structural steel engineer. In 2014 she started at art school, as a hobby, and in 2018 she started to paint botanical subjects in watercolour after following Svetlana Lanse’s course. She is now a full-time botanical artist, living in Hungary.
She is a Member of the Russian Botanical Artists Society (SABA) since 2020 and an SBA fellow since 2023. She has exhibited in Russia, Germany and Hungary.
(156) Carica papaya 'Maradol' by Nichole Kazmar
I have no information about Nichole Kazmar. Can anybody help?
Eunhee Park has the distinction in Plantae 2023 of being awarded two Certificates of Botanical Art for both of her artworks which were selected for hanging in the exhibition.
Eunhee Park is a Fellow of SBA. She completed the SBA Diploma Course 15. Her inspiration for works in coloured pencil was Ann Swan.
(250) Blackcurrants by Dorte Pedersen
(Graphite and colour pencils)
Lives in Oslo. Started her working life as a graphic designer but now works on a self-employed basis as a special effects designer with film companies.
(347) Passiflora caerulea by Julie Whelan SBAF
Julie Whelan was born and educated in West Yorkshire and moved to London for a career working in the care profession with sick children. She has had a couple of major health challenges which have proved disruptive to both her career and her studies to redirect her efforts into botanical art - but she has pulled through and maintained a positive outlook throughout. Julie finds that her artwork certainly helps her escape from health issues; escapism to a safe place.
352 Hellebore Collection by Sue J Williams GM (2008) SBAF
Sue J Williams now lives in Yalding in Kent but was born in Pakistan, trained as a teacher of Modern Languages and has led a very international life and spent most of her life travelling. However in later years she became interested in botanical art and, since 1994, has been creating botanical paintings and has exhibited widely and every year with SBA.
Tomorrow the blog post will be about
the SBA and Sponsor Awards at the Plantae 2023 Exhibition
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