Capturing Flora: 300 years of Australian botanical art

A major celebration of 300 years of Australian botanical art, the exhibition Capturing Flora: 300 years of Australian botanical art will take visitors through a historical journey of how Australia’s amazing and diverse flora have been recorded, interpreted and popularized by botanical artists from William Dampier and the early explorers to the present day.

Art Exhibition previously on at Art Gallery Ballarat in Victoria, Australia.
From Tuesday 25 September 2012 to Sunday 02 December 2012

Swainsona formosa, Sturt’s desert pea, 1699 image Telopea speciosissima, Waratah, 1837-1842 image Nymphaea gigantea W.Hook, 1855 image Christmas Bells and Ferns, 1902 image Redoute -  Metrosideros lophanta image Pelargonium australe, East Coast form image

Published by anonymous on Sunday 19 August 2012.
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Capturing Flora will be the most comprehensive exhibition of Australian botanical art ever held in Australia.

It is a much-needed tribute to the tradition and practice of botanic art in Australia which has been enjoying a renaissance over the last few decades.

The exhibition will bring together works from the Gallery’s collection, many of which have been bought in preparation for this exhibition, with key works from some major institutions.

The 350 original drawings and prints range from colourful works which celebrate Australia’s vibrant and flamboyant wildflowers to black and white drawings which are incredibly detailed and meticulously observed. It’s a show that will appeal to anyone who has ever looked at a flower.

The exhibition would be accompanied by a lavishly produced catalogue.

The exhibition catalogue will be a significant contribution to the field as it will contain a series of scholarly essays and will be the first comprehensive monograph to cover Australian botanical art for over ten years.

The exhibition will divide into historic timelines starting with the first encounters with Australia flora by European explorers. This will include rare 18th century prints of plants that buccaneer William Dampier found on his visit to the Kimberleys in 1699 and images from Cook’s exploration of the east coast of the continent.

The second stage will focus on the growing popularity of Australian plants in Australia and also by European gardeners who began to introduce Australian plants across Europe, especially in Bonn, Berlin and Spain.

Ferdinand von Mueller, the first director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and the instigator of botanical gardens and collections throughout Victoria and elsewhere in Australia, gets a special billing in a section that highlights the link between research and art.

A particular feature of the exhibition will be a focus on women artists, both amateur and professional, who have made a very significant contribution to the recording and popularization of Australian plants. Some, like Louisa Meredith and Ellis Rowan have been celebrated for their work, while others like Eliza Blyth and Fannie de Mole are still relatively obscure.

The exhibition concludes with the revival of Australian botanical art that occurred after WW2 with the development of the careers of Margaret Stones and Celia Rosser and will feature a selection of work by some of the best of botanic art in Australia today including works by Jenny Phillips, Anita Barley and Mali Moir.

What: Capturing Flora: 300 years of Australian botanical art
When: Tuesday 25 September to Sunday 2 December 2012
Where: Art Gallery of Ballarat, 40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat
Details: Gallery open 9am – 5pm daily
Admission $12, Concession $8, Child and Gallery Members Free
Contact: 03 5320 5858
Gallery website: www.artgalleryofballarat.com.au