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The Challenge of Botanical Art



Botanical art is always something that has fascinated me.  To investigate more I went to see the ‘Capturing Flora’ exhibition at the Gallery of  Ballarat.  It’s the most comprehensive exhibition of Australia’s botanical art ever held in this country, bringing together over 300 images dating from the late 17th century to the present day.  Originally, of course, it was a matter of  identifying and recording plant species from a scientific or horticultural perspective.  It wasn’t  until the 19th century that upper middle class women were encouraged to engage in drawing as a pastime, and flowers were a favourite subject.  The last 30 years has seen a veritable flood of highly talented artists emerge and many are to be seen at this exhibition.  The paintings are exquisite in their detail and take months to complete.  How they do it, I don’t know. The patience required would be challenging.  The paint brushes go down to a size of just a couple of hairs!  Maybe one day I’ll have a go, although I’m really not sure if I have the stamina for it!







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