The next London exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists will be held from 15 to 23 April 2016. The exhibition is open daily from 11am to 5pm and is held at Central Hall Westminster. Nearest tube stations are St James and Westminster.
Over 600 original works of contemporary botanical art on display, varying in style and mediums from exquisitely detailed to big and bold; there is something for everyone including a selection of glass and jewellery.
The Society presents a more contemporary title for the exhibition in 2016 but don’t be confused: nature throws up an abundance of shapes, patterns and structures within the plant kingdom. The variety of each of these elements is astounding and all are designed to suit a specific purpose: habitat, climate, survival or propagation.
Shape, pattern and structure are three of the main aspects of plant life that draw many of us towards botanical painting or illustration. Shape is where it begins; the beautiful shape of flowers both as single blooms but also in groups as bunches or in fields or on display. The full and delicious shape of ripened fruits and vegetables, which inspires chefs to cook and farmers to grow; and shape as a device in nature to attract and seduce us into collecting and studying plants. Pattern beguiles us, the glorious discovery by Fibonacci that number patterns are repeated through nature and connect us numerically with the plant world; together with the incredulous structure of a Romanesco broccoli or the Savoy cabbage, both may explain our fascination to understand and celebrate though art such supreme design. The structure of plants has been a fascination since the first century BC but Robert Hook first discovered the cell in 1665 with the invention of a microscope with sufficient magnification. Since then the discoveries have been tumbling forth and illustrators through the ages have been called upon to draw through the lens. Structure gives us the science but can also generate ideas of design and composition that we can use in the execution of our art.