Flower power: 2021 RHS Botanical Art & Photography Show at the Saatchi Gallery
Botanical illustrations have a somewhat unfair association with geriatric hobbies and biology textbooks. In a new exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, the Royal Horticultural Society brings a new twist to form by bringing together a selection of 200 paintings, drawings and photographs that showcase the diversity of flora.
The result of a call for applications, the works of 34 aspiring and established international artists represent networks of roots, petals, leaves and stems in their abstract forms, but also in highly detailed scientific cross-sections. The confinement has given many the opportunity to care for their gardens and local green spaces, and the exhibit invites viewers to marvel at the endless details found even in the simplest organic forms.
From daring watercolors of tulips to photographic studies of slender bonsai and cascading foliage, to lichens, anemones and finely observed fruits, the works on display testify to the technical brilliance and legacy of inspired art. by nature. Fran Black’s Marram Grass series – photographs of grasses escaping cracked soil in South Africa – exhibits the “fragile beauty of these important plants that thrive in the harshest environments”, and was awarded a medal in gilded silver. Meanwhile, the spherical panoramas of the trees in Konrad Cox’s New Forest offer a dizzying perspective on the mirror quality of roots and branches.
Scheduled to run alongside the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, held in the fall for the first time in its history, the display is a visual boost in a season when the bright colors of summer are starting to fade.
Until October 3, 2021.