Sceitse – June Update

We’re now accepting all submissions for our sketchbook project, please see the recent email from Elaine about how to send your sketchbook pages.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we will need a lot of time to put the project together, so we’re asking members to make sure that we receive their pages by the end of June.

Small works will not be required until just before the exhibition, probably in October.  They need not be directly related to the sketchbook page, but must be botanical and must not have been exhibited at the NBG previously.  All small works should be framed by the artist.

Irish botanical artist awarded Margaret Flockton Award (Sydney, Australia)

We’re delighted to report that Irish botanical artist and ISBA member Deborah Lambkin has won a prestigious international award from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney for excellence in scientific botanical illustration.

The Foundation and Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, has awarded the Margaret Flockton Award for Excellence in scientific botanical illustration to RHS Orchid Artist (Irish Botanical Artist), Deborah Lambkin.

The award was for her drawing of a new species of Gastrodia orchid from Madagascar which was chosen from 63 illustrations from 46 artists from 21 different countries.

Ink drawing of Gastrodia orchid. Copyright 2020 Deborah Lambkin

A new species of Gastrodia orchid from Madagascar, illustrated by Deborah Lambkin

The Margaret Flockton Exhibition is a yearly exhibition held at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney and showcases work from the world’s leading scientific botanical illustrators. The exhibition is now in its 17th year and attracts submissions from artists worldwide. Deborah is the first Irish artist to ever participate in the event.

The award commemorates the contribution Margaret Flockton made to Australian scientific botanical illustration. The Maple-Brown Family and the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens sponsor this annual, international award for excellence in scientific botanical illustration.

Visit the exhibition online here: 2020 Margaret Flockton Award exhibition at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

Irish botanical art at the National Gallery of Ireland this Spring

Free exhibition Drawn from Nature opens on 7 March 2020

Drawn from Nature: Irish Botanical Art opens at the National Gallery of Ireland on 7 March 2020 and runs until 21 June 2020. Admission is free.

Pioneering Irish artists are at the heart of the National Gallery of Ireland’s new free exhibition Drawn from Nature: Irish Botanical Art. From William Kilburn to Lady Edith Blake, the exhibition celebrates artists who made significant contributions to art, science, and our understanding of the natural world.

Curated by Patricia Butler (Guest Curator), assisted by Janet McLean (National Gallery of Ireland), Drawn from Nature features art spanning almost 300 years, from the 1720s to 2019. Contemporary artists include ISBA members Mary Dillon, Shevaun Doherty, Deborah Lambkin, Siobhán M. Larkin, Margareta Pertl, Yanny Petters, Susan Sex, Jane Stark, Lynn Stringer and Holly Somerville.

A volume of designs by William Kilburn (1745-1818) will be on display for the first time in Ireland as part of the exhibition. One of the most eminent calico printers of the 18th century, Kilburn was born on Capel Street in Dublin and later settled in London.

Works by painter and geologist George Victor du Noyer (1817-1869) will also be on display, including studies of mushrooms and apples which he documented for the Ordinance Survey and the Geological Survey.

painting of apples by George Du Noyer

George Victor Du Noyer (1817-1869)
Engl. King. King. Musk. Turnip. Black annat. Winter Rose, 1837
Courtesy of the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin

Over 15 women artists are highlighted in the exhibition, including Ellen Hutchins, known as Ireland’s first female botanist. Hutchins discovered many seaweeds and mosses before her death in Cork at the age of 29.

Many of the drawings, watercolours, prints, and books will be on display for the first time at the National Gallery of Ireland during the exhibition. Works from public and private collections include selections from the National Botanic Gardens (Glasnevin), National Museums Northern Ireland, Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew) and the V&A (London).

Janet McLean of the National Gallery of Ireland commented:

While many Irish botanical artists ventured across the world, others barely stepped beyond their townlands. This exhibition highlights how they are bonded by a common curiosity in nature and a compulsion to record it.

It celebrates centuries of looking closely, drawing carefully, and treasuring the complex beauty of plants.

Guest curator Patricia Butler, author of Irish Botanical Illustrators & Flower Painters, on which this exhibition is based, commented:

There is currently a vigorous revival of interest in botanical art worldwide and this exhibition pays tribute to the extensive and distinctive Irish contribution to the area. I hope that visitors to the Print Gallery in the National Gallery of Ireland will enjoy exploring the work of over 30 artists ranging from the relatively unknown to the widely acclaimed.

See nationalgallery.ie for more details and check our calendar of events on this website for two interesting talks related to the exhibition: Talk & Tea: Irish Botanical Art and Irish Contributions to Curtis’s Botanical Magazine.

New year, new decade, lots of news

We’re well into 2020 already – a new year and a new decade. Our Sceitse/Sketchbook project is going well and the hand-in day has been planned to coincide with our AGM on 21 March. Visit our project page for updates.

Members, don’t miss the AGM, when our guest speaker will be Yanny Petters who’ll talk to us about her working methods for making her paintings on glass.  The Shirley Sherwood Gallery, in Kew Gardens in London, is currently running an exhibition called Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art which includes Yanny’s life-size portrait, on glass, of a teasel!

In April we’re delighted to host Sarah Morrish who will travel over from the UK to provide two one-day workshops to members on Pen and Ink methods in botanical illustration.

Also in 2020, the National Gallery of Ireland is holding an exhibition called Drawn from Nature, which provides an interesting historical perspective on botanical art in Ireland over the centuries, right up to contemporary work (including some ISBA members):

Take a closer look at Irish botanical art in Drawn from Nature. Spanning almost 300 years, artists include William Kilburn, Ellen Hutchins, George Victor Du Noyer, Lady Edith Blake and Wendy Walsh. These pioneering men and women have made significant contributions to art, science and our understanding of the natural world. Inspired by Patricia Butler’s book Irish Botanical Illustrators and Flower Painters, the exhibition features prints, drawings and illustrated books from public and private collections in Ireland and the UK.

Curator | Patricia Butler (Guest Curator), assisted by Janet McLean (National Gallery of Ireland)