The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney will be full of creativity and colour this autumn for Garden Art Weekend, from 16 – 17 April 2016.
Celebrating the intersection of artistic expression and botanical splendour, the festival will showcase a number of exhibitions featuring work from leading Australian and international botanic artists and illustrators inspired by the beauty and wonder of the plant world.
For thousands of years botanical illustration has been visually documenting complex plant science for reference into something more palpable, preserving our depth of historical knowledge of natural science and evolution. Plants – whether growing, pressed, dried or suspended in alcohol – can be captured, reimagined and perfected in drawings that are scientifically accurate and breathtakingly beautiful.
“Our role has always been to highlight botanical research to clarify our understanding of science,” says Catherine Wardrop, Botanical Illustrator, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. “But when the artistic and natural worlds come together, something quite wonderful happens.”
Garden Art Weekend is an opportunity for inquiring minds to learn about the rich tradition of botanical art and illustration across different cultures, experience magnificent artwork up close, and participate in a range of workshops, talks, activities and guided walking tours, in one of the most beautiful botanic gardens in the world.
Included in the two-day program of events are four free exhibitions: the Margaret Flockton Award showcasing contemporary scientific illustrators competing for the annual award that commemorates the Garden’s first botanical illustrator; IKEBANA into the future, featuring spectacular large-scale lawn installations together with talks and workshops about the art of Japanese floral arrangement; Botanica, the country’s leading annual botanical art show, including artworks for sale; and Scott Sisters, a display of the exquisite and colourful work of two of 19th century Australia’s finest scientific illustrators.
There will also be hands-on classes exploring Aboriginal storytelling through traditional art and drama, and art-based school holiday activities for kids (ticketed) including the popular outdoor theatrical production The King and Queen of Green, as well as free walking tours guiding visitors through the heritage and plant diversity of the Garden.
Garden Art Weekend is part of Royal Botanic Garden Sydney’s 200th Birthday program of events, celebrating the horticultural, cultural, educational and scientific life of Australia’s oldest continuously operating scientific institution.