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Drawn from Nature: Irish Botanical Art

**Due to the situation regarding
COVID-19 (Coronavirus),
this exhibition is currently closed**

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Botanical Art with Jane Stark

This workshop is designed for those who have some experience in the basics of botanical art and flower painting and would like to further develop their skills through an intensive five days of drawing and painting. Emphasis is on individual tuition and allowing students to work at their own pace and level of experience. Handouts on relevant topics will be available each day. Participants will begin by doing a series of sketches of a chosen plant and its component parts, making careful observation of important characteristics

Botanical and Floral Art in Bloom

The fifth annual Botanical & Floral Art Exhibition at the Bloom Festival is an Open Call Exhibition featuring some of the best botanical artists exhibiting in Ireland today. Medals may be awarded for works of particular merit by an independent judging panel.  As well as the paintings themselves, cards and prints will be available for sale at the exhibition. The exhibition will be launched on the Thursday evening by our own Chairwoman, Jane Stark.

Do come and see the work. You will find us at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, just beside the cafe and opposite the stone tower.

(The image shows a work in progress by Lynn Stringer, one of the artists featured in the exhibition).

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