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22 Mar 2019

Drawing inspiration from nature

Lovers of art and nature are in for a treat this April when the Garden comes alive with inspiring demonstrations, music and unique botanic inspired exhibitions for Garden Art Month. There will be a blend of modern, scientific and traditional exhibitions weaved throughout the Garden plus hands-on activities for creative kids and master-classes for adults.

Taking centre stage is Botanica – the leading contemporary botanic art exhibition now in its 20th year where the theme of ‘Celebration’ has been explored by artists. 

As you view the exhibition showcased inside Lion Gate Lodge, you will see what ‘Celebration’ means to each of the artists in the 120 paintings exhibited.
Besides celebrating the 20th anniversary, the theme considers our own relationship with plants. A significant portion from the sales of the original and limited-edition prints goes to the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens. 

botanica, garden art month, eucalyptus,
Eucalyptus youngiana by Annie Hughes

Celebrating artists from around the world

The beauty and complexity of nature as seen through the artist’s eye doesn’t stop there, The Calyx will be hosting Plants with Bite Illustrations and Ikebana: Transforming Autumn.

The contrast between retro comic book inspired illustrations and the Japanese art of floral displays, a 500 year old tradition, will surely be a feast for the eyes.  

If you are stopping by on a Tuesday, the Students from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music will be playing lunchtime performances outside of The Calyx. There are plenty of sunny spots to relax to music from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary eras.  

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Terrifying Tales from the Green by Sonny Ramirez


Pitcher plants and Venus flytraps are the stars in my artwork. The fact that they don't permit a victim to escape once inside their respective 'mouths' is both scary and fascinating.
Sonny Ramirez, The Illustration Room

The legacy of Margaret Flockton

Now in its 16th year, the Margaret Flockton Award attracts the best professional and amateur scientific botanical illustrators from around the world. 

This Award is unique amongst international art awards, focusing exclusively on contemporary scientific botanical illustration, instead of botanical art.

Margaret Flocton
The award commemorates the contribution Margaret Flockton made to botanical illustration. 

Original taxonomic illustrations

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.

The winner will be announced on 30 March kicking off Garden Art Month with a bang and first place prize of $5,000.  

Don't' fret if you miss the exhibition, it will tour to the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah throughout the year.

Lapidia apicifolia by Natanael Nascimento from Brazil won first prize in 2018.

Creative kids

Budding artists will bloom at Garden Art Month which is conveniently timed during the autumn school holidays.

A new collaboration between the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the National Art School, the Sketchbook Scavenger Hunt weaves kids throughout the Garden on a quest to visually record the landscapes, plants, people and animals in an iconic setting.

Sketchbook Scavenger Hunt, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Garden Art Month, National Art School.
The full program of kids school holiday activities can be viewed here.

More from Garden Art Month

Throughout April and extending into May the Garden will be buzzing with activity. For more information about Garden Art Month at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney visit the website here

Hero image featured above: Hellebore by Elaine Musgrave

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