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The Margaret Flockton Award

The Margaret Flockton Award is unique amongst international art awards, focusing exclusively on contemporary scientific botanical illustration, as distinct from botanical art.

Illustrators from around the world submit scientifically accurate drawings that accompany the published taxonomic description of the plant, clearly highlighting all of the distinctive features of the species. Original taxonomic illustrations are highly detailed black and white drawings primarily undertaken in pen and ink, pencil or digitally rendered.

Submission dates: Mon 14 - Tue 29 January 2019 EST

First prize: AU$5000; second prize: AU$2000; 3 x Highly Commended.

The Margaret Flockton Award commemorates the contribution Margaret Flockton made to Australian scientific botanical illustration. The Maple Brown Family and the Foundation & Friends of the Botanic Gardens sponsor this annual, international award for excellence in scientific botanical illustration.

When: Saturday 30 March - Sunday 14 April 2019, daily 10 am - 4 pm.
Where: Joseph Maiden Theatre, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney - enter via Woolloomooloo Gate on Mrs Macquaries Road

Saturday 8 June – Sunday 28 July 2019,  Mon – Fri 10 am – 4 pm and selected weekends
The Australian PlantBank at The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan

Friday 9 August – Sunday 15 September 2019,  daily 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Visitor Centre at The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah

Cost: Free entry - selected works for sale direct from the artist
Enquiries: botanical.illustration@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au | Ph: 02 9231 8111

Winners 2018

1st Prize
Lapidia apicifolia Natanael Nascimento from Brazil. Digital illustration.
Find out more
2nd Prize
Gunnera mexicana Edmundo Saavedra Vidal from Mexico. Pen and ink.
Find out more
Highly Commended
Drosera albonotata Alastair Robinson from Victoria, Australia. Pen and ink.
Find out more
Highly Commended
Theobroma cacao Juan Luis Castillo from Spain. Digital illustration.
Find out more
Highly Commended
Vernonia echioides Alice Tangerini, Washington, D.C., USA. Pen and ink.
Find out more
Previous winners

Congratulations to all of our 2017 winners!

Click on the individual image to view an enlarged version.

 

First Prize - $5000 
Calamus sp. nov. “pintaudi” 
Lucy Smith

Kew, United Kingdom

Second prize - $2000
Monanthotaxis pynaertii 
Esmee Winkel 

Leiden, The Netherlands 

Highly Commended
Drosera magnifica sp. nov.
Rogerio Lupo

Brazil 

Highly Commended
Dracaena draco subsp. draco
Juan Luis Castillo

Spain

Highly Commended
Echium wildpretii subsp. wildpretii
Juan Luis Castillo

Spain

 

Entry Requirements

All previous winners of the Margaret Flockton Award are eligible to enter, excluding the 2017 and 2018 winning artist.

There are no entry fees for the Margaret Flockton Award and Exhibition.

Entries to be submitted between 14 - 29 Jan 2019.

Works must have been produced after February 2017.

Exhibition:
30 March - 14 April 2019, Joseph Henry Maiden Theatre, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
8 June - 29 July 2019 Australian PlantBank, The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.
9 August - 15 September 2019, Visitor Centre at The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah

Online gallery: from 6 May 2019 

All illustrations and paperwork must be submitted digitally. Original artworks and paperwork sent via the postal system will no longer be accepted.

Each artist may submit up to two illustrations. Only high resolution digital scans of black and white (for example pen and ink, graphite or scraperboard) illustrations and/or monochromatic, digitally rendered illustrations, either published or unpublished, will be considered. All illustrations must be intended for 2D printed output. Animated or 3D rendered works or images dependent on digital viewing, as well as photos and photo montage works, are not eligible for submission.

Entries are to be digitally submitted at 100% of original artwork size with an image area no larger than A3 (295 mm x 420 mm) and no smaller than (180 x 250 mm), EXCLUDING legend. Illustrations outside of these parameters will not be accepted. The digital canvas size may only be longer than A3 to allow for the legend. The illustration should include a small legend (with plant name and all lettered components), neatly written or typed at the bottom of the artwork, outside of the image area.

Only full plate illustrations will be accepted (inclusive of habit study and diagnostic features of the species). Inclusion of scale bars, whilst not compulsory, is highly recommended.

Note: eligible entries may be printed at 67% of original size to assess reproducibility at judging.

Illustrations selected for judging and exhibition will be printed on high quality paper and framed in standard exhibition frames.

The Margaret Flockton Award Exhibition will display high quality prints of submitted digital files only. Original artworks are neither exhibited nor sold at the Margaret Flockton Award Exhibition. If artists wish to provide an email or professional website address for direct enquiries regarding sales/other from the customer, please enter details on the biography template and consent to their use via the entry form.

 On the entry form consent is sought for the following -

1. for the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust to store and print one high resolution copy of each entry for judging and exhibition.

2. to allow high resolution illustrations to be reproduced and biographical information to be used by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust or the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens for the sole purpose of promoting the Margaret Flockton Award and Exhibition.

3. to allow low resolution illustrations and biographical information to be viewed in an on-line ‘flickr’ gallery format created by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust and the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens for the sole purpose of promoting the Margaret Flockton Award and Exhibition.

4. to indicate that your original or digital print is available for sale

5. for your contact details to be publicly displayed on your biography

The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust and the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens are the sole owners of the information collected from the entry forms and any other information submitted and will not sell or rent this information to others. Information will be shared for the sole purpose of advertising or promoting the Margaret Flockton Award and Exhibition. All care of artworks and rights of artists will be respected and no illustrations will be commercially reproduced from this process.

Email completed forms (1-4) to botanical.illustration@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au

1. Complete my entry form
Each illustration must be accompanied by an entry form. When submitting this form you are agreeing to all of the conditions of entry. Please read all conditions carefully before submitting.
Incomplete entry forms may render entries ineligible. Please tick the checklist on the entry form to ensure all information has been supplied.

2. Complete my label template
Each illustration is to be accompanied by a fully completed label template with the scientific name of the plant, medium, artist's name and the legend of the drawing. These will be printed and displayed with each work.

3. Complete my biography
The provision of biographical information, contact details and photo is completely optional. See example biography.

A folder containing biographies of the contributing artists is compiled each year for visitors to refer to. For your biography a template has been provided on the link above with fields for your name, date and place of birth; education and career highlights; publication and exhibition history; website and email contact details. A scanned portrait or suitable passport photo of the artist is also to be inserted in the delineated spot in the template. Otherwise, a digital photo can be emailed separately.
Please limit the length of your biography to under two A4 pages.

NOTE: Original artworks are neither exhibited nor sold at the Margaret Flockton Award Exhibition. If artists wish to provide an email or professional website address for direct enquiries regarding sales/other from the customer, they must enter those details on the biography template and consent to their use via the entry form.

4. Supply a taxonomic description
A taxonomic description (either published or unpublished) must be provided with each illustration. The taxonomic description should be typed and submitted electronically. This will not be framed with the artwork but will be available in a separate folder during the judging and exhibition. Examples of such descriptions can be found in local Flora publications or on PlantNET, an on-line resource for the plants of New South Wales.
 

Digital submission - artwork

All illustrations and paperwork must be submitted digitally.

Once you have emailed completed forms (1-4) to botanical.illustration@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au you are then required to submit up to two image files using a large file transfer portal of your choice, such as Dropbox www.dropbox.com
Once you have created your account be sure to invite botanical.illustration@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au to View AND Edit files in the shared folder where you have uploaded your image files.
The Margaret Flockton Award Committee will contact you to confirm your image files have been received.
 
Digital file specifications
One high resolution digitial file is to be submitted for each illustration. The file size should not exceed 100MB.

1. High resolution for judging and exhibiting:
Ink line and stipple - Bitmap tiff @ 1200dpi
Pencil or Continuous tone - Greyscale tiff/ psd/ ai/ pdf @ 600dpi (minimum).
Entries are to be digitally submitted at 100% of original artwork size with an image area no larger than A3 (295 mm x 420 mm) and no smaller than (180 x 250 mm), EXCLUDING legend. Illustrations outside of these parameters will not be accepted. The digital canvas size may only be longer than A3 to allow for the legend.

A low resolution copy (greyscale jpg @ 72dpi and 1000 pixels wide) will be produced from the high-res file for the on-line ‘flickr’ gallery.

Whilst large file transfer sites such as Dropbox are reliable and secure The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust and the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens will not be liable for any breaches of security associated with transfer of digital images and information associated with the entries in the Margaret Flockton Award nor will they be responsible for any loss or damage of files in transit.

Entries will be assessed in accordance with the following criteria: accurate interpretation and portrayal of plant characters and diagnostic features; technical merit; reproducibility; composition; artistic merit. See A Guide to Scientific Illustration for more information on judging criteria.

Works should be submitted as ready for publication and must be capable of being reduced to 67% of the original size without loss of detail. A major criterion of scientific illustration is that images should be clearly and simply reproduced through the printing process.

After judging or, in the case of exhibited works, at the conclusion of the exhibition period, all high resolution digital files and printed illustrations will be destroyed with the exception of the winning, second prize and highly commended works. These are to be stored for historical and publicity purposes only. With the artist’s permission (see entry form) low resolution jpgs will be available for on-line viewing from 6 May 2019.

First and second prize-winners will be paid by electronic transfer in Australian dollars soon after the awards are announced. Overseas artists will be paid by International Money Transfer in Australian dollars and will need to provide their bank account information upon request. Overseas artists should note their banking institutions may charge fees for international transactions

The science of botany requires plant taxonomists to describe plant species in both words and drawings, with botanists preparing a detailed description of the plant and the artist producing an accompanying illustration.

Taxonomic illustrations are normally published in scientific journals as highly detailed black and white drawings (primarily pen and ink, more rarely pencil) or digitally rendered illustrations (excluding photos and photo-montage), representing aspects of plant morphology essential for identification.

The Margaret Flockton Award is unique in art awards in that it recognises and promotes scientific botanical illustration as opposed to botanical art.
With the above in mind, the evaluation of entries is based on the following criteria:

  • Accurate interpretation and portrayal of plant characters and diagnostic features noted in the botanical description
  • Technical merit
  • Reproducibility
  • Composition
  • Artistic merit

When considering these broad criteria, the following are also taken into account:

Precision and accuracy 
Correct botanical detail, all plant characters and diagnostic features must be accurately displayed.

Reproducibility
The image must be capable of being successfully scanned and reproduced (often reduced) without loss of detail. Very dense (black) or light detail may not reproduce well. A major criterion of scientific illustration is that images should be clearly and simply reproduced through the printing process. Illustrations must be capable of being reduced to 67% of the original size without loss of detail.

Good composition 
The plate should be laid out to give a balanced presentation allowing the overall effect to be aesthetically pleasing. This balance is best demonstrated by the careful placement of the primary subject. In other cases, balance may be the result of careful placement of the dissected details of the plant.

Use of scale bars, whilst not mandatory, is preferred
Great care should be taken in giving the correct scale of each feature. If possible, avoid using multipliers eg. 'x3' or 'x0.5' to indicate the size of features, as this becomes meaningless if the drawing is used in a publication and printed at a different size; the use of a scale bar is accurate regardless of changes to the size of the image.

Signature 
The signature should be neat, small and consistent, with the year noted.

For enquiries and further information

Lesley Elkan and Catherine Wardrop
The Margaret Flockton Award
c/- Illustration, National Herbarium of NSW
Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust
Mrs Macquaries Road
Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Telephone: 02 9231 8133
Email: botanical.illustration@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au

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