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.

Photographs by Tony Kearns