Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

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Margaret Flockton Award 2014

The Margaret Flockton Award commemorates the contribution Margaret Flockton made to Australian scientific botanical illustration. The Foundation & Friends of the Botanic Gardens, as a major fundraising organisation and supporter of the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, is pleased to sponsor the Margaret Flockton Award for Excellence in Scientific Botanical Illustration. Through its members, the Foundation & Friends is committed to funding projects that embellish and enrich the four sites of the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, allowing the Trust and its staff to continue to pursue excellence in all that they do. The Foundation & Friends also holds an annual exhibition of botanical art: Botanica - the Art of Seduction - see Foundation & Friends Events.

The exhibition

When: Saturday 24 May - Sunday 15 June 2014, daily 10 am-4 pm.
Where: Joseph Maiden Theatre, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney - enter via Woolloomooloo Gate on Mrs Macquaries Road
Cost: Entry to the exhibition is free - selected works for SALE
Enquiries: 02  9231 8111 

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Location of indoor venues including the Joseph Maiden Theatre - click on image to enlarge 

2013 Winning entries

1st prize ($5000) - Rogerio Lupo from Brazil for Vellozia perdicipes sp. nov.

2nd prize ($2500) - Lucy Smith from the United Kingdom for Lecomtella madagascariensis

Highly Commended ($500) - Klei Sousa from Brazil for Cattleya forbesii

Highly Commended ($500) - Edmundo Saavedra Vidal from Mexico for Dennstaedtiaceae in Veracruz

Highly Commended ($500) - Pauline Dewar from Victoria, Australia for Pellaea rotundifolia

On the evening of Friday 12 April approximately 150 people attended the official opening of Botanica 2013 The Masters and Moore and the Margaret Flockton Award 2013. Professor David Mabberley, Executive Director Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust and Dr Michael Brandt, Director, Art Gallery of NSW, introduced the two exhibitions, then Louise Wilson, Margaret Flockton's great, great niece announced the winners. Margaret's great niece, Louise's mother, Julia Woodhouse, was also in attendance. It was very special to have present on the evening family members who knew Margaret Flockton personally.

Highly Commended Award recipient Pauline Dewar accepted her award and Lucy Smith's father and step-mother were completely taken by surprise as they were asked to receive her award on her behalf. Absent were all other international winners, of course, including second-time winner Rogerio Lupo, who previously won first prize in 2010. Rogerio is a Bachelor of Biological Sciences from the University of São Paulo, and is now a natural science illustrator and teacher of biological illustration. He was overwhelmed to be told he would receive the First Prize once more:

'In this particular moment of my life, I feel as if this award is acknowledging not only the value of the work, but the value of surrendering and keeping peaceful, doing all - including art - in harmony with the flow of life … making me see even more clearly that ever-present perfection, that to our weary eyes seems to be concealed.

'This competition brings more visibility and recognition to a really very fine art that often arouses passion in makers and viewers, but hardly gets broader access to a large public. Within all sorts of scientific art, this botanical illustration (generally intended to exclusively be published in restricted scientific media) develops a kind of life of its own, because it enables much inventive creativity in terms of composition of the plates, modes of representation, uses of shadows and lines, styles of filling with ink or graphite and infinite more issues. The Margaret Flockton Award plays an essential role encouraging artists to pursue their best performances. This award allows us to move ourselves around the botanical illustration planet, knowing that we'll find others of our species there, revering plants, beauty and Art.'

Exhibited in the Red Box Gallery are the 38 competing artworks (from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, USA, Chile, Mexico and Brazil). In celebration of the 10th year anniversary of the Margaret Flockton Award, 12 original Flockton sketches, lithographs and an oil painting are on exhibition. A display cabinet also houses some beautiful Flockton works, giving viewers a sense of the pleasure staff here have, being able to view Margaret's work on a regular basis. In a joint collaboration with the Volunteer Guides of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, on Monday 15 April Louise Wilson gave a fascinating illustrated talk about Margaret's personal life, extracted from her soon-to-be-published book about her famous great, great aunt. Following this, a morning tea was held and then a themed guided walk took groups through the grounds of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, connecting the plants and place to the 'fragrant memory' of Margaret Flockton.

The response to the exhibition has been wonderful - opening night guests and daytime visitors have lingered for hours, absorbing the detail and magnificent skill of the works and asking many questions, curious about this niche field of illustration. Visitors have also been encouraged to vote for their favourite illustration in the People's Choice Award, to be announced following the close of the exhibition on 26 July 2013.

Judges

The judges for the 2013 Award were Hannah Mathews, Scientific Illustrator, Insect Systematics, University of New South Wales; Annette Wilson, Editor, Flora of Australia, Australian Biological Resources Study and Professor David Mabberley, Executive Director, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.

Judging criteria

  1. Accurate  interpretation and portrayal of the plant characters and diagnostic features in the botanical description
  2. Technical merit
  3. Artistic merit
  4. Composition
  5. Reproducibility

Click here for further information on Margaret Flockton and the Margaret Flockton Award.

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Margaret Flockton Award 2013 winners

Vellozia-perdicipes
1st prize ($5000) - Rogerio Lupo from Brazil for Vellozia perdicipes sp. nov.

Lecomtella-madagascariensis
2nd prize ($2500)
 - Lucy Smith from the United Kingdom for Lecomtella madagascariensis

Cattleya-forbesii 
Highly Commended ($500) - Klei Sousa from Brazil for Cattleya forbesii

Dennstaedtiaceae
Highly Commended ($500)
 - Edmundo Saavedra Vidal from Mexico for Dennstaedtiaceae in Veracruz

Pellaea-rotundifolia
Highly Commended ($500)
 - Pauline Dewar from Victoria, Australia for Pellaea rotundifolia

Supported by

The Maple-Brown family

Foundation & Friends