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Garden Art

Artists have always drawn inspiration from the colours and forms in nature. Learn about different forms of art, the art and science of botanical illustration, and create your own masterpieces at home!

Stage 2 Visual Arts  
  • VAS2.1 Represents the qualities of experiences and things that are interesting or beautiful by choosing among aspects of subject matter  
  • VAS2.2 Uses the forms to suggest the qualities of subject matter  
  • VAS2.3 Acknowledges that artists make artworks for different reasons and that various interpretations are possible. 
  • VAS2.4 Identifies connections between subject matter in artworks and what they refer to, and appreciates the use of particular techniques. 
Stage 3 Visual Arts  
  • VAS3.1 Investigates subject matter in an attempt to represent likenesses of things in the world  
  • VAS3.2 Makes artworks for different audiences, assembling materials in a variety of ways 
Stage 2 Science and Technology   
  • ST2-2DP-T A student selects and uses materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity  
Stage 3 Science and Technology 
  • ST3-2DP-T A student plans and uses materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity   

 

 
  • Literacy capability  
  • Numeracy capability  
  • Information and Communication Technology capability  
  • Critical and Creative Thinking capability  
  • Personal and Social capability  
  • Ethical Understanding capability  
  • Intercultural Understanding capability.  

The aim of the Garden Art unit is to highlight the relationship between art and nature with examples of different art forms referencing the art on display in the Gardens.  

There are activities accompanying each topic in this unit which students can use to apply their knowledge and skills. As art in its concept is rooted in free expression and creativity, many of the activities are deliberately designed to be open-ended. However, there are instructions to complete them which should provide some rough guidance. Here are some examples of nature-based art as a reference and inspiration: 

Garden material art 

https://www.natureplayqld.org.au/art-in-nature 

http://maddogmom.com/2012/10/09/leaf-creatures/ 

https://cdn.cdnparenting.com/articles/2018/07/157756406-H-1024x700.jpg 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/29/65/db/2965dbdb0cd41fbcb041e57345fba401.jpg 

 

Tangrams  

Download the answer sheet here for the tangram activity.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XYMUSw3nfNI/Tp-V2Suex-I/AAAAAAAABQk/ge4rcm27IMU/s1600/tangram.jpg 

https://www.shutterstock.com/search/tangram+animals 

 

Botanical art inspiration and excursion options at the Gardens 

https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/Science/Botanical-Illustration/The-Florilegium 

https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/whatson/Botanica-Exhibition 

https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/visit/garden-art-month 

https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/whatson/plantswithaheart 

https://www.bluemountainsbotanicgarden.com.au/Stories/2019/Unmissable-Artisans-in-the-Gardens 

https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/Stories/2019/Cassowaries-in-Sydney 
 

2020 Margaret Flockton Award entries 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/botanic-gardens-sydney/albums/72157714056535323/with/49823164933/ 

 

Did you know? 

  • The act of painting outdoors in natural light is called plein air. It became popular in the 19th century and is often associated with the Impressionist art movement. 

  • April is Garden Art Month at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney! There are a variety of events such as music, kids programs, and exhibitions all celebrating the connection between art and nature.  

  • The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney hosts art classes and exhibitions year round. See what’s currently on offer at https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/whatson  

 

Further reading 

Aboriginal art and culture 

https://www.commonground.org.au/learn/connection-to-country 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-02/indigenous-rock-art-could-be-among-oldest-in-world/6906476 

https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/aboriginal-sites/basin-aboriginal-art-site 

https://www.atnf.csiro.au/people/Ray.Norris/SydneyRockArt/sites/Tamarama/index.htm 

https://www.atnf.csiro.au/people/Ray.Norris/SydneyRockArt/sites/BondiGolfCourse/index.htm 

 

Garden design ideas and resources 

https://www.thespruce.com/designing-your-own-landscape-for-grouping-plants-2130990 

https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/formal-garden-design/9428662 

https://www.purvision.com/pearl-whites-in-the-royal-botanic-gardens/ 

https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/stories/2018/pearl-white-butterflies-arrive 

https://birdlife.org.au/images/uploads/education_sheets/INFO-Attracting-birds-to-garden.pdf 

 

Scientific and botanical illustration 

https://www.botanicalartandartists.com/tips-and-techniques.html 

https://theconversation.com/what-makes-a-good-scientific-illustration-10037 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stippling 

https://www.botanicalartandartists.com/sydney-parkinson.html 

https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/Science/Botanical-Illustration/Margaret-Flockton 

https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/Stories/2019/A-fragrant-memory 

Sculpture at the Gardens: Cupid, photograph by Whiteghost.ink, distributed under a CCBY-SA 4.0, cropped to fit.

The banner image was sourced from Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens