The Geelong Botanic Gardens Revealed
April 30 - June 19 2016. Open Daily 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. This is the first time that our artists have held an exhibition at the prestigious Geelong Art Gallery and the works all reflect the close connection between the artists and the Gardens.
A world of mysterious, rare and unusual plants is growing in our historic public Gardens. Investigate this living collection from a new perspective—the art of botanical illustration.
Explore the subtleties of form, pattern and texture of selected species through the work of botanical artists from the Friends of Geelong Botanic Gardens. These works provide an intimate view into the world of plants.
Gold - Botanical Imagination
December 2015. The Exhibition is the result of the Friends’ School of Botanical Art workshops dedicated to study of gold leaf technique and the methods to apply it to stylised botanical subjects produced during the year.
November 2014. The Exhibition - Vessels uses the tradition of decorating china, porcelain, glass etc with motives from nature in a two dimensional form onto paper. The artists' work depict many interpretations of this art form.
There will be an opportunity to purchase original works, prints, cards and bookmarks.
Inspired By Nature 3
October 2013. Biennially, the Friends of Geelong Botanic Gardens holds Inspired by Nature, an exhibition of the Geelong School of Botanical Art. In 2013, work by approximately 20 students was displayed and selected work by our tutors was also exhibited.
During the 2013 exhibition period, the FGBG also collaborated with Christopher James and Sogetsu Ikebana. Sogetsu used seasonal plant material and items collected from the Geelong Botanic Gardens, inserting weekly displays in the gallery.
Inspired by Nature 4
October 2015. The School of Botanical Art at the Geelong Gardens has been buzzing over the past few months as artists make their final preparations for Inspired by Nature 4. This much anticipated biennial event in the Friends’ calendar goes on show throughout October at Geelong’s Wintergarden. Around twenty-five artists and tutors will come together to exhibit work completed over the past two years.
The Botanical Art School has been operated as one of the Friends most important activities. Established by Margaret Muffet and now managed by the Friends for over 10 years, this wonderful program offers people an opportunity to explore and learn about the world of plants, a place where art meets science.
The collection, preservation and presentation of rare and unusual plants along with ‘hands on gardening’ are the accepted focus for Botanic Gardens. However the exquisite world of botanical illustration forms an important role in many major Botanic Gardens. Amongst the herbarium collections of the World are detailed illustrations and associated notes that record the many species known to science. Indeed one of the first undertakings when a plant is ‘discovered’ is recording the species by both preserving and pressing a sample of the plant material and also illustrating and notating the species.
While the medium of film and photo is excellent in relaying a plant’s character these methods cannot communicate with complete accuracy the botanical details demanded by science. The preferred method of recording plant material is through illustration. Consider that on just one page an artist is able to sketch different views of a flower, leaf, branch and bark; drawings will often include the seed, its pod or capsule. A series of drawings on a single page may display sections and annotated scaled sketches that provide a view of microscopic detail within the plant. Notes on differentiation between specimens and the place the plant was collected could also be included. All this presented on a single sheet. The intimate story of a plant is complex and demands refined botanical knowledge combined with the imagination and skill of an artist to communicate the complete picture.
As in past exhibitions, the style and subject range of Inspired by Nature 4 will be incredibly diverse and presented in a variety of formats. Most of us do not realize it often takes two or three seasons for an artist to finish an individual work. The world of plants and flowers is transient – once a specimen is selected it must be analyzed and sketched then translated onto paper for completion. In between collection and recording, the original flower may have wilted, its life cycle finished. The artist will often wait a full year before they can again work directly from a freshly picked specimen.
This is the fourth exhibition in the ‘Inspired by Nature’ series, and the second season that it has been curated by Jill Shalless from art@wintergarden. Much of the plant material featured has been sourced from the Geelong Botanic Gardens; works will represent artists at many levels from highly skilled to beginner. For some, this will be their first exhibition. The Friends invite you to visit the gallery and join the artists on their wonderful botanical journey.
In conjunction with Inspired by Nature 4, an exhibition of delicate ceramics created by Melinda Solly will also be on show. This local Anglesea artist is creating the most exquisite pottery, exploring botanical form and playing with light and shadow, as it exists in nature. The Friends of Geelong Botanic Gardens is delighted to be sharing October art@wintergarden with Melinda.