29th August 2015 to 31st January 2016
Shirley Sherwood Gallery
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
As the summer draws to its fruitful conclusion, the Shirley Sherwood Collection is harvesting some of its own paintings of fruit and vegetables for their autumn show, with all manner of glorious bounty on a global scale, painted by many artists who delight in the creation of pictorial volume that the fruiting bodies of plants offer to them as inspiration.
This exhibition includes some study works, which are now becoming a regular feature in the gallery, as this method of naturalistic and spontaneous recording of plant life picks up pace, gathering interest from collectors and exhibition visitors alike.
The reception banner in the gallery entrance shows an enlarged image of a life-size colour study of a pomegranate, which I completed whilst on a winter visit to The Netherlands in the early 1990's.
Also being shown ls a small precision work of a Screw Pine, Pandanas utilis. The seed was collected by Sir Charles Burrell of Knepp Castle, during one of his early explorations into Papua New Guinea with his wife to be, the travel writer Isabella Tree. At the time, I completed a series of study works based on Sir Charles' seed collection, followed by the precision work of the screw pine, for Dr Sherwood.
There's the opportunity to see again some artworks that have found their place in Botanical Illustration's history books, including the gloriously intense Beetroot by Susannah Blaxhill and the ephemeral Pineapple by the late Paul Jones.
And, to ice this cake of autumn abundance, on display are some exquisite illustrations of fruits from the Kew Library, including works by Redoute and Maria Sibylla Merian. The cherry on the top is a delightful small show of fruit models from Kew's economic Botany Collection.