The Edinburgh Society of Botanical Artists (ESBA) will hold its 7th annual exhibition at Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh from 23rd - 29th November. The exhibition features work by twenty artists, all graduates of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Diploma course in Botanical Illustration. Original paintings, giclee prints, cards and ESBA's unique annual calendar will be on sale.
For most of us, plants are something that decorate our garden or are glimpsed as a green blur as we speed past. Images of flowers and leaves appear everywhere in our lives, on curtains, clothing, wallpaper, cards, wrapping paper and as national and political symbols.
These designs often reduce a flower to its most basic. A daisy becomes a yellow blob surrounded by white loops, a poppy a scarlet splodge with a black centre. Being constantly confronted by these simplistic representations, it is easy to forget how complex and beautiful a real plant is.
Plants, Passion, Paint promises you a visual treat. Seen through the eyes of a botanical artist, plants are perceived in a fresh light. The artist's precise observations of light, colour and intricate details reminds us that a common leaf is a complex, three dimensional structure, a work of art. Whether it's a giant oak tree or a tiny seed seen through the microscope, botanical art helps us to see the familiar in new ways and discover details that we had no idea existed.
Botanical drawing requires not just looking, but seeing, the ability to focus and capture fine details that are often missed by a casual look. When you leave the exhibition, you will see plants from a new perspective and find yourself turning over leaves to discover for yourself what's underneath!
ESBA artists are all graduates of the internationally respected Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Diploma course in Botanical Illustration. Many of the artists have exhibited paintings nationally and internationally, won awards and had work selected for publication, such as the recent 'Scottish Plant Lore' by Greg Kenicer published by RBGE. Not all graduates come from an arts background. Many have had careers as teachers, architects, physiotherapists, social workers, botanists and film makers. Their backgrounds are as diverse as the plants they paint, but they have one thing in common, a passion to paint and express the complex beauty of plants.