Monday, April 13, 2015

Announcing the opening of a new show at the Jonathan Cooper Park Walk Gallery in London 23 April - 3 May 2015

Celebrating 25 Years of Her Collection

Eighteen invited artists will be showing new work to celebrate Dr Sherwood's remarkable achievement. Each work is unique in its specialisation and depiction of the plant world, expressed in a number of media from acrylic and oil, to watercolour and ink, and print making. This is an opportunity to see the  new work of some well known and new artists whom you might otherwise only see virtually or in catalogues. 

This show has coincided with the completion of one of my ongoing projects that commenced in 2006, after establishing a collection of Paeonia lactiflora in my own garden. This followed several earlier projects in the 1980's and 90's, when I began long term visual interpretations of my phenology data. 

The catalogue for this show is in a small format, and the details of my work are therein very difficult to perceive owing to image reduction. And so, in my previous post I have placed the image of the work that I am showing in this exhibition, and several details that are not clearly shown in the catalogue. This work is a large piece painted from life onto white canvas, over a period of 9 years, picturing the first flowering of a series of established French 19th Century Paeonia cultivars from my much favoured magenta colour ray types.

Phenology data-keeping has been one of my concerns since I began recording information in childhood following the severe winter of 1962-3. As the first Flower Painter involved in the experimentation of translating this data into visual imagery, phenology has become a great passion for me. 

Data takes many years to accumulate and it goes far beyond the simple expression of 'weathering'. The piece on show at Park Walk is five feet in height, showing eleven life-size established cultivars, as affected by the subtleties of climate during their first flowering. A selection of my most favoured cultivars were chosen over these 9 consecutive years. The work is the tip of the iceberg that encapsulates a great deal of information that will be published further into the future. In the meantime, if you should have the opportunity, please do go along to the show. Your comments would be most greatly welcomed.

Work from Botanical Artists in the Collection of Dr Shirley Sherwood OBE
Jonathan Cooper Park Walk Gallery 23 April - 30 May 2015


The Phenology Cabinet of the Incandescent Petal

The Phenology Cabinet of the Incandescent Petal 

Series 1 Magenta Cultivars from 19th Century France

acrylic on canvas


60 x 40 ins / 153 x 102 cm


Paeonia lactiflora 'L'Eclatante'

Paeonia lactiflora 'Mme Ducel'

Paeonia lactiflora ' Mme Boulanger'

Paeonia lactiflora 'Francois Ortegat'

Paeonia lactiflora 'Martin Cahuzac'

More data and an explanation of Phenology and its implications for the Flower Painter are to come at a later date. For the meantime, here are a few of the images that were painted en plein air directly from life, onto the large pristine white canvas. The individual paintings of each flower head are depicted life size measuring on average approximately 13cm in diameter. Do come along to the show and see the work in situ where the painterly inflections can be observed and the perils and pleasures of flowering finds expression in its colourful incandescence.