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NEW ISBA PROJECT LAUNCHED – IRELAND’S NATIVE TREES’

NEW ISBA PROJECT LAUNCHED – IRELAND’S NATIVE TREES’

As life begins to return to normal, the ISBA is thrilled to have launched our new project “Irish Native Trees – Delighting in the Detail.” 

On September 26th we met to launch our new project, which will run until 2023, offering members plenty of time to gather information, make sketches and create beautiful paintings. Focusing on the small details that characterise each of Ireland’s 22 native trees in each distinct season, our artists have undertaken a comprehensive illustration project which will culminate in an exhibition at the National Botanic Gardens in 2023.
As the title, “Delighting in the Detail”, suggests, we will endeavour to draw attention to the smallest of details of our native trees, which often go unnoticed. The result will be a visually exciting, botanically accurate collection of paintings which, we hope, will renew interest and joy in our native species and allow our audience to get to know them intimately in all their detail and in every season.

Further updates will be forthcoming here so do keep in touch. Artist members should contact isba.hon.secretary@gmail.com for project brief, tree choices etc.

For information on membership, please go to www.irishbotanicalartists.ie/membership.

Our previous project, SCEITSE, was somewhat curtailed due to the pandemic. However we are delighted to report that the original works will be exhibited alongside this exhibition and our book, SCEITSE – Irish Botanical Sketchbooks, as well as our other publications, is available to buy at www.irishbotanicalartists.ie/shop.

Illustration: Betula ‘White light’ by Fionnuala Broughan
Photographs by: Niamh Harding-Miller

Launch of SCEITSE – Irish Botanical Sketchbooks

Friday 20 November 2020: the Irish Society of Botanical Artists proudly launch our new book: SCEITSE – Irish Botanical Sketchbooks

The culmination of a two-year project, SCEITSE – Irish Botanical Sketchbooks celebrates the complex journey of botanical artists as they collect information and prepare to illustrate a particular plant. This includes ‘visiting’ plants in their habitat or in gardens, to see them in their natural or intended setting. The sketchbook pages in this collection show the breadth of information a botanical artist may collect, from plant features and measurements, to colour notes and descriptions of the setting.

Irish botanical artists are fortunate to have access to unique and diverse gardens, both public and private, in which to glean information and complete research for their paintings. We have included beautiful pictures and writing from the gardens in which we worked for this project, hoping to celebrate our island’s horticultural treasures and to encourage visitors to seek them out.

Image of two page spread of Foreword by Susan Sex

Foreword by Susan Sex

Do visit our shop to see how you can order your copy of this limited edition. You can also buy our previous publications while stocks last.

Image of two sketchbook pages by Noeleen Frain

Sketchbook pages by Noeleen Frain

The ISBA is a not-for-profit Society and your support allows us to continue our work all over the islandof Ireland, encouraging and promoting botanical art and artists. We welcome both Artist and Friend memberships: visit our Membership page for more details.

For further enquiries, please email isba.committee@gmail.com

Yanny Petters works acquired for national collections

We’re so pleased to say that Irish botanical artist and ISBA member Yanny Petters has recently had two  of her pieces acquired for national collections.

Yanny’s painting ‘The Plants We Played With’ has just entered the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland (NGI) having recently featured in the ‘Drawn From Nature’ exhibition at the NGI . The painting was first exhibited with the Olivier Cornet Gallery in VUE at the RHA in 2015 as part of Hopscotch, an exhibition about childhood memories.

Image of the Yanny Petters painting, The Plants We Played With

Yanny Petters, The Plants We Played With

As well as that, Yanny’s ‘Hand Fan for Habitats’ (a verre églomisé piece) has been purchased by the National Museum of Ireland for their permanent collection. This piece featured in the 2020 Sculpture in Context exhibition, normally held on site at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, but this year held online.

A photo of Hand Fan for Habitats by Yanny Petters

Yanny Petters Hand Fan for Habitats

 

You can find out more about these works of Yanny’s on the Olivier Cornet Gallery site here:

The Plants We Played With

Hand Fan for Habitats

 

SCEITSE – IRISH BOTANICAL SKETCHBOOKS launch 20 November

We are delighted to announce the launch of SCEITSE – IRISH BOTANICAL SKETCHBOOKS on Friday 20 November 2020.

This exciting new publication seeks to de-mystify and celebrate the complex journey of botanical artists as they collect information and prepare to illustrate a particular plant. This includes ‘visiting’ plants in their habitat or in gardens, to see them in their natural or intended setting. The sketchbook pages in this collection show the breadth of information a botanical artist may collect, from plant features and measurements, to colour notes and descriptions of the setting.

As botanical artists in Ireland, we are fortunate to have access to unique and diverse gardens, both public and private, in which to glean information and complete research for our paintings. We have included beautiful pictures and writing from the gardens in which we worked for this project, hoping to celebrate the island’s horticultural treasures and encourage visitors to seek them out.

Since its formation in 2014, the Irish Society of Botanical Artists has burgeoned into a thriving, lively and reciprocal group of botanical artists. The Society has undertaken three ambitious projects, staging successful exhibitions and producing three wonderful books, Aibítir – The Irish Alphabet in Botanical Art (2014), Plandaí Oidhreachta – Heritage Irish Plants (2016) and Éireannach – Celebrating Native Plants of Ireland (2018) For each book, our artists created finely detailed and finished portraits and illustrations of both cultivated and wild Irish plants. An enormous amount of work went into each painting as each artist sought to identify and illustrate the key features of their chosen plant and portray it in a beautiful way. The resultant collection of paintings in the ISBA books is of an extremely high standard and has been lauded in botanical art and botany circles.

SCEITSE – IRISH BOTANICAL SKETCHBOOKS is now available to pre-order from our shop at a reduced price of €20.00. Orders will be shipped soon after the launch date of Friday 20 November.
The normal retail price (from 20 November 2020) is €25.00. Trade prices available.

For further enquiries, please email isba.committee@gmail.com

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.

Sceitse: November Update

We hope you had a lovely summer and that you’ve all been busy working on your sketches for our latest project!

Get-together 23 November 2019

If you’d like to get together with other members, meet up for coffee, or if you have some questions about the Sketchbook Project, you can meet with members of the Sketchbook Committee and the ISBA Committee for chat and advice in the Curvilinear room from 2.30 to 4.00pm.

Sketchbook key dates!

Pages for sketchbooks are to be handed in at our AGM which will probably be held in March 2020.

We have a date pencilled in for the Sketchbook exhibition: it will be held in November 2020 in the National Botanic Gardens. This exhibition will showcase the botanical artist’s sketchbook.

Small works at the exhibition

As you know members who participate in the Sketchbook project will also be invited to hang one piece of finished work at the 2020 exhibition. The work should be no larger than 500mm x 550mm framed.

Opportunities for ISBA members

Spring is in the air, and along with the lengthening days and warmer temperatures, we’re receiving new opportunities for ISBA members.


Firstly, the call is open for entries to Botanical and Floral Art at Bloom. The deadline is 29 March 2019. You can keep up to date on Facebook or on the Bloom website.


We’ve been contacted by a number of different organisations/galleries here in Ireland with queries about possible collaboration. Below we’ve listed three such opportunities. We’re leaving it up to members to contact any of the organisations themselves. If you do decide to contact them and all goes well, do let us know!


Old Weir Lodge Hotel, Killarney – Contact: Niall O’Donoghue
email: info@oldweirlodge.com
This is a small hotel in Killarney which is currently being renovated.  They would like to feature some prints of native plants on their corridor walls. Ideally the prints would be similarly sized (approx A3 portrait or square).


Excel Exhibition Space, Tipperary – Contact: Carissa Farrell
email: carissafarrell@tipperary-excel.com
Carissa is the Venue Director of the Excel in Tipperary Town which has a gallery and would be very interested in holding a group botanical art exhibition in 2019.


Shanbally House and Gardens – Herb Dispensary
Also in Tipperary, Shanbally House and Gardens is currently under restoration. As part of their work they plan to create a small herbarium and they would like to collaborate with botanical artists–who have an interest in medicinal herbs–to create some artwork that will showcase in the house, can be sold in the house and made into cards/notepaper etc. They would like the artwork to complement the work they are doing of growing, promoting, preserving and processing these healing plants. We’re in contact with Shanbally House at the moment with a view to their providing a tour for interested members in the summer. Once dates have been arranged, we’ll announce the event here on the website and will be in touch directly via our members’ email list.

Éireannach goes west…

Paintings from our Botanical Art Worldwide exhibition, Éireannach, are currently on display at the North Mayo Heritage Centre. You can combine a visit to the exhibition–which runs until 31 October–with the upcoming Enniscoe Biodiversity Blitz:

To find out more check the Centre’s press release and the agenda for the day.

AGM, Orchids, Éireannach, Courses, Bloom… Busy Times!

March and April have been very busy times for the ISBA; our AGM in March saw our chair for the last two years, Jane Stark, step down, passing the baton (or should that be the paintbrush) to Lynn Stringer. Jane didn’t sit back though as she has spent most of her time since then on the design, layout and typesetting of the book that will accompany our Botanical Art Worldwide exhibition: Éireannach: Celebrating Native Plants of Ireland. To find out more about the progress of the project, and how to buy the book, check the latest update on our Éireannach project page.

April sees us hosting An Evening Celebration of Orchids in Botanical Art , part of a series of orchid events at the National Botanic Gardens in April, including an exhibition of paintings by Deborah Lambkin and Margareta Pertl, both ISBA members. Check out the event on our calendar page.

If all these events have whetted your appetite to learn more about the practice of Botanical Art, two of our members are providing tuition in two very different locations in April and May. Yanny Petters will hold a two-day course in Wicklow in April and Jane Stark a five-day course in the Burren in May.

May will see our Éireannach exhibition open on the 5th, with an open day on the Worldwide Day of Botanical Art on the 18th.

And in June, there will be an exhibition of Botanical Art at Bloom. Those who submitted their work for this exhibition should hear by the end of April whether their submissions have been accepted.

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