The Bedgebury Florilegium Society, a group of eight highly-talented botanical artists from South East England, is marking its first anniversary with an exhibition of paintings at Marle Place Gardens & Gallery (Brenchley, Kent) from 11th – 27th May.
The group, which was founded by Canterbury-based artist Pearl Bostock, meets once a month at Bedgebury Pinetum and paints straight from nature. The many different colours and textures of cones and needles in the world’s best conifer collection make perfect subjects for their intricate and vivid paintings. Working closely with curator Chris Reynolds and his deputy Dan Luscombe, Pearl and her team are producing a set of beautiful, precise and scientifically important records of the collection’s most intricate components.
“This kind of work has to be a vocation,” says Pearl. “Each painting can take between 30 and 100 hours to complete. It needs a lot of love and dedication to look right into the subject, work out how it grows and capture its beauty in minute detail from several different angles.”
A florilegium, which literally translates as a gathering of flowers, is a collection of botanically accurate paintings of plants, reproduced from life by botanical illustrators. This type of artwork dates back to the 15th century, originally as a method of recording plants that were often rare or endangered in the days before photography.
The Bedgebury Florilegium Society receives support from the Friends of Bedgebury and the Forestry Commission, and also runs courses for members of the public.
Published 13th April 2012
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