Art - Botanical Art Exhibition

The Society of Botanical Artists is celebrating its 21st year and if you’re in London this weekend, it’s worth checking out their annual pre-Easter Exhibition. This year it's entitled ‘A Celebration of the English Garden’ and it's taking place in the Lecture Hall of Central Hall Westminster. There are over 750 works on show and two local artists, Jane Orchard and Vicky Mappin are represented. ”This style of painting obviously predated photography as a means of categorising plants, and some say it is outdated,” says Jane, a Southease resident whose work Crimson Parrot Tulip is one of four she has in the exhibition. “But some artists choose to exaggerate a particular element of the plant to make it more obvious, and sometimes a camera doesn’t capture this salient feature.”
Many think that such supernaturalistic representation of its subject matter shouldn’t be considered ‘art’ as it contains no metaphor. Jane, perhaps surprisingly, tends to agree. “For me, personally, it is not so much art as technique,” she says. “But it’s not a soulless process because to me it’s impossible to paint an object in such detail without getting emotionally involved in the subject and starting to love it.” And it is a painstaking process. It took Jane, using an extremely fine brush and watercolours, 90 hours to paint Crimson Parrot Tulip. “This sort of painting is becoming more and more fashionable,” adds the artist. “The Chelsea Physic Garden has been offering classes for a long time and they have become wildly popular in recent years.” AL

Jane Orchardís Crimson Parrot Tulip: beautiful, but is it art?
Central Hall Westminster
When? 10am-5pm until April 9
How Much? Free
Jane Orchard
(t) 01273 513681
(e) Click here
Vicky Mappin
(t) 01273 486320
(w) Website
Vicky Mappin gives classes in botanical art in Rodmell, Ditchling and Lindfield