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 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 hope you had a lovely summer and that you’ve all been busy working on your sketches for our latest project!
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.
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:
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.
We’ll be hosting An Evening Celebration of Orchids in Botanical Art in association with the Dublin Orchid Fair at 6.30 pm Friday 20 April 2018, in the Visitor Centre of the National Botanic Gardens. The evening will feature a talk:
The RHS Orchid Committee and its artists: a history of the RHS orchid award paintings
A talk by Clare Hermans, Chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Orchid Committee, author of many articles and co-author of Orchids of Madagascar and a research fellow of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
The talk was originally given at the World Orchid Conference held in Ecuador last November.
The talk will be followed by a wine reception and a tour of:
Three Threads – of the orchid tapestry created by Frederick William Moore – an exhibition.
Organised by staff of the National Botanic Gardens, it features archival material from the Library at Glasnevin, orchid paintings by Deborah Lambkin (an ISBA member and official artist to the RHS’s Orchid Committee), and a collection of orchid portraits that celebrate Frederick Moore, painted by Margareta Pertl (also an ISBA member). The exhibition runs from Saturday 29 March to Wednesday 25 April.
There is no admission charge and all are welcome, but we would be grateful if those who wish to attend would email email@example.com and include the number of guests attending.
The Dublin Orchid Fair takes place Saturday 21st April and Sunday 22nd April and will be held in the Teak House at Glasnevin. This is the premier annual orchid event in Ireland, with a selection of species and hybrids for sale. It promises to be an exciting weekend for orchid lovers, gardeners and botanical artists alike.
Our judges are meeting on 29 January to assess all the submitted paintings, which are being safely stored in the Library of the National Botanic Gardens. The judges will decide which paintings will hang in the exhibition that takes place from 5 to 27 May in the National Botanic Gardens. As well as paintings for the exhibition, the judges will choose paintings for a digital slideshow which will be seen at other botanical art exhibitions all around the world. Many countries are taking part in Botanical Art Worldwide and we will be seeing some of their paintings at our own exhibition via the digital slideshow. Artists will be notified as soon as possible after the judges make their decisions.
We will produce a high-quality catalogue to accompany the exhibition and this is already in process. We hope to find sponsorship for the book. The exhibition will open with a wine reception on 5 May; we are awaiting confirmation of our guest speaker to open the show: watch this space! On 18 May, which is the Worldwide Day of Botanical Art, we will hold an open day and we encourage everyone to bring along family and friends and to spread the word. Zoe Devlin has kindly agreed to guide a wildflower tour of the paintings. The exhibition closes on 26 May and we’ll be taking down the paintings on 27 May. For more details, see our Éireannach project page.
Hand-In Day is close! We will be accepting painting submissions from 12:30-1:30pm on 18 of November 2017, before Charles Nelson’s talk, at the Lecture Theatre, National Botanic Gardens. For more information, check our Éireannach project page.
Stones, Slabs and Seascapes: George Du Noyer’s Images of Ireland
17 November 2017–24 February 2018
An artist imbued with a keen appreciation of the sciences—particularly geology, botany and zoology, George Victor Du Noyer was born into a Huguenot family in Dublin in 1817.
Over the course of a half century, he travelled the length and breadth of Ireland, sketching and recording as he went. Thousands of drawings and sketches by him are preserved in the libraries and archives of institutions such as the Royal Irish Academy and the Royal Society of Antiquaries in Ireland. In the National Botanic Gardens are exquisite watercolours of Irish
apple varieties, roses and other botanical specimens.
In celebration of Du Noyer’s extraordinary achievements, and to commemorate the bi-centenary of his birth, the Crawford Art Gallery will host a major survey exhibition, featuring over one hundred and fifty watercolours and drawings. Opening in November 2017 and continuing until the end of February, 2018, the exhibition will be curated by Peter Murray, former Director of the Crawford Art Gallery, in collaboration with Petra Coffey and the Geological Survey of Ireland.
Although best known as a geologist, Du Noyer called himself ‘a labourer in the field of science’, and from an early age he laboured well: the two beautiful botanical paintings shown here are dated 1837, and so were painted when he was only twenty years old.
As the name of the exhibition implies, the works on display will focus primarily on landscape, rocks and the sea, and it promises to be an exhibition of interest to many of us with an interest in the natural history and a wonderful opportunity to see a slice of Irish art and science history.
To find out more, visit the Crawford Gallery description of the exhibition.
The inaugural outing of the ISBA was a visit to Burtown House in May 2013, where we were privileged and delighted to meet Wendy Walsh, and were welcomed to Burtown by Wendy’s daughter Lesley Fennell. A group of ISBA artists returned to Burtown House on 13 May 2017 where Lesley made them very welcome and a tour of the garden and studios was enhanced by lunch in the newly opened Green Barn. Here, ISBA member and the Society’s Hon. Secretary Elaine Moore Mackey gives a brief overview of the lovely visit.
A small group of members were lucky enough to visit Burtown on Saturday 13 May and, while the weather wasn’t great, we made the most of the beautiful setting in which we could admire and learn about the work of Wendy Walsh, who lived at Burtown for the last years of her life.
Lesley Fennell, Wendy’s daughter and an artist herself, took time to show us the gardens–which she manages with enormous talent and committment–as well as Wendy’s paintings which are exhibited in the Gallery at the Green Barn.
Lesley’s generosity and intimate knowledge of Burtown, her home for many years, allowed our group to experience this lovely place on an intimate level. Lesley knows every plant, every corner of the garden, and her enthusiasm for plants and of course, for painting, is infectious.
We were so grateful to her for making us welcome, and to see Wendy’s work up close was a real privilege. The unexpected gift of the visit was to understand and appreciate the long association of Burtown with painting. Lesley’s own studio, formerly that of her mother, is a living workplace and she extended a genuine invitation to our members to paint in the gardens.
I was personally touched by Lesley’s sensitive portraits of Wendy and her own work which celebrates Burtown, her passion for plants, and her home.
The carrot cake was also decidedly memorable!
To read about our first visit to Burtown in 2013, see this post: Wendy Walsh.
Featuring six artists showing six paintings of Heritage Irish Plants, the ISBA’s first collective entry to the RHS–at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival–was awarded a Silver Medal.
Each exhibit is judged by a panel of experts according to specific criteria including: scientific accuracy, botanical information, artistic skill – draughtsmanship and painterly skills, as well as the overall presentation of the display and unity of the pictures. All six paintings must be executed to the same standard.
The six artists, and their plants, are:
- Niamh Harding Miller; Erica cinerea ‘Ted Oliver’
- Siobhán Larkin; Iris ‘War and Peace’
- Rona Orchard; Narcissus ‘Paradigm’ and ‘Greek Surprise’
- Susan Sex; Dahlia ‘Aggie White’
- Holly Somerville; Iris lazica ‘Turkish Blue’
- Margaret Walsh Best; Narcissus ‘Soft Focus’
Well done and congratulations to all!
It has been a busy autumn for some of our members! Here’s a quick round-up of what’s been happening:
Botanical artists from around the world gathered in Pittsburgh in October for the Annual Meeting and Conference of the American Society of Botanical Artists. The event coincides this year with the 15th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration at the prestigious Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation. We are delighted and proud that Ligularia dentata by ISBA artist and committee member Siobhán Larkin was selected for this important exhibition and we congratulate her.
Siobhán works in coloured pencil and watercolour, and recently won an award at the Irish Watercolour Society exhibition in Dublin. Another ISBA artist, Shevaun Doherty, is among the artists invited to the ASBA Conference to demonstrate ‘Mastering Beautiful Bloom on Fruit in Watercolour’. Mary Dillon is also attending and spreading the word about botanical art in Ireland. Thanks to Shevaun and Mary for sending us photos.
Congratulations also to ISBA member Yanny Petters whose Teasel for finches, November will join the prestigious art collection of Dr Shirley Sherwood at the Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew, London. The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art is the first gallery in the world dedicated solely to botanical art. This painting is part of Yanny’s very successful solo exhibition–“Come with me, I’ll show you something beautiful” / “Komm mit mir, Ich zeig’ Dir ‘was Schönes”–at the Olivier Cornet Gallery in Dublin, featuring her exquisite Verre Églomisé paintings. The exhibition continues until 6 November, so if you are in Dublin, do make a point of viewing the exhibition. You can see photos from the exhibition opening on Yanny’s Facebook page @YannyPettersBotanicalArtist
Another ISBA member, Ida Mitrani, is one of the artists whose work features in the Lines of Negotiation exhibition in the Lexicon in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown, running until 05 November. Congratulations to Ida, whose work Totality was bought by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Arts Office for their public collection.
The second Art in the Garden exhibition took place in October (9th to 16th) in Tourin House, Co. Waterford (the first of these exhibitions was held in the National Botanic Gardens in 2014, featuring art work based on the Kilmacurragh Gardens). Close to thirty artists had work in the exhibition, in various media; almost a third of the artists were ISBA members. The exhibition was opened by Patricia Butler, Art Historian (who wrote the forward for our own Aibítir catalogue). Well done to all!
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