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3 Mar 2020

A love letter to plants

As museums and galleries around the world move online in these unprecedented times, so too has the PL❤NTS Exhibition which features more than 150 artworks celebrating our love of plants. PL❤NTS will be available to view online from the comfort of your own home until the end of May.

Rather than being scientifically based, the artworks from a range of mediums, including small sculptures, drawings, photography, paintings and collages, are expressive, sometimes wildly so, drawn from the artists’ personal connection with, inspiration from and love of plants.

The exhibition will return to Lion Gate Lodge in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney from Sunday 19 July - Sunday 2 August, where artworks purchased during pre-sales will be available for collection once the exhibition closes.

Our artists have been hard at work for many months creating beautiful emotive artworks that express our deep connection to the natural world, and the decision to show the exhibition both online and at the gallery in July stems from our desire to share with you something positive and good during these uncertain times.

Portal by Jason Moad, oil on Linen, 101x83cm.jpeg
Portal by Jason Moad.
Now more than ever, let us come together to support communities of artists who we rely on to keep our culture rich and vibrant and our esteemed cultural institutions such as the Botanic Gardens.

Exhibition artists 

Most of the artists who are exhibiting at PL❤️NTS haven’t previously shown their work at the Garden.

Highlights include Laura Blythman’s paper collage artwork, a playful and colourful collection of dreamt and imagined landscapes, flora, fauna and magical places.

Christina McLean from Trade the Mark is exhibiting a new ceramic collection called pathways. Her bold patterns, muted palette and pared-back finishes speak so clearly of the Australian bushland.

Photographer Daniel Shipp will show beautiful and haunting works about found plants.

Also look for the unusual and charming works of Jason McDonald, whose modern blend of photography and digital design is inspired by plants in the Garden. His eye for detail captures the underlying relationships between plants and insects, and his work comes with a magnifying glass, so viewers are able to experience a naturalist’s perspective of these mostly hidden life cycles.

We are also introducing an exhibition gift shop for the first time ever. The gift shop includes treasures such as nature-inspired earrings by Tasmanian contemporary jeweller Janine Combes, custom ceramics by muralist Andrew Dennis, and hand-poured candles from Newtown-based Hunter Candles. Artist and illustrator Flora Waycott has a range of prints and greeting cards available in the gift shop in addition to her three artworks in the exhibition.

“We want to offer everyone the opportunity to take something home, with accessible work at a good price point, in a wide range of mediums,” says Stephanie. “And when they do, they’re supporting Foundation & Friends as well as the artists.”

'I know that something good is going to happen' by Nicola Woodcock.

A special experience

Described as a love letter to plants, the exhibition is very apt for the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney which is itself the green heart of the city.

“The exhibition aims to show people that plants make up our entire lives,” says Stephanie. “There’s not a single thing we can do without plants. We can’t breathe, we can’t eat, we can’t have clothing and we can’t have shelter. We also wanted to reflect our Foundation & Friends members‘ wide range of interests in plants.”

“The exhibition committee is made up of Artisans and Botanica committee members – a really exciting and robust group of people who’ve been working on our exhibitions for a long time,” says Stephanie.

Nailcan hill  reserve by Nat Ward 1150mm x 1150mm oil on canvas.jpg
Nailcan hill reserve by Nat Ward.

More information 

  • Exhibition online: 21 March to 5 April

  • Physical exhibition will return to the Royal Botanic Garden 19 July - 2 August.

  • ​Opening celebration: Saturday 18 July 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

The exhibition will be formally opening on 18 July by Georgina Reid of The Planthunter, an online publication with an international reputation for its fierce commitment to communicating the importance and wonder of the natural world through rich, evocative storytelling. Meet artists and see the exhibition, with drinks and canapés. Bookings for the opening celebration are essential.

Category: Events

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