This major project ‘Crainn na hÉireann – Ireland’s Native Trees’ was conceived two years ago with the title ‘Delighting in the Detail’. Choosing twenty-two of Ireland’s native trees, our artists were invited to illustrate Irish trees in the four seasons, enlarging the smallest details of their annual cycle. One of the skills of the botanical artist is the enlargement and detailed representation of botanical details which distinguish a particular species. This scientific detail requires an understanding of botany, close observation, reproduction to scale, and the ability to faithfully reproduce colour and texture. The challenge is to represent the botany accurately in a visually pleasing and informative composition. The almost seventy paintings in this exhibition are the culmination of months of labour and the unique perspective of each artist. From botanical plates to beautifully detailed tree portraits, the exhibition comprises a variety of styles, mediums, and approaches, all of which aim to bring attention to Ireland’s unique heritage of native species. The ISBA invites the viewer to immerse themselves in a new appreciation of the trees we know and love and which are intrinsic to our land and culture.
RHSI Bellefield Snowdrop Weekends
The RHSI are delighted that Angela Jupe’s garden, now RHSI Bellefield, will be open for visitors on two February weekends.
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th, 11am to 4pm.
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th, 11am to 4pm.
This event marks the start of a very exciting project for the RHSI as we take over as custodians of the gardens with Paul Smyth as Head Gardener. RHSI Bellefield will be a focus for Irish gardening and Irish gardeners, open for the public to enjoy and offering training and education to support the art and practice of horticulture.
For more information press the link below
The Annual General Meeting of the Society will take place on Saturday the 11th of March at 12 noon. This will again be conducted online via Zoom. We are delighted to welcome artist Pamela Taylor, as speaker at the AGM. Pamela’s work focuses on painting trees and her talk is, by all accounts, very interesting and pertinent to our ongoing project.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
You can find out more about these works of Yanny’s on the Olivier Cornet Gallery site here:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Spring is in the air, and along with the lengthening days and warmer temperatures, we’re receiving new opportunities for ISBA members.
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
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
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.
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:
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