To celebrate the 350th anniversary of John Evelyn’s landmark work, Sylva, the RBGE is presenting an exhibition of drawings of British trees and woodland by Sarah Simblet, commissioned for The New Sylva.
Presented for the first time, the 35 pen and ink drawings have been selected from over 200 drawings commissioned to illustrate The New Sylva, a contemporary version of Evelyn’s classic text.
Created from life in woodlands across the British Isles, Sarah Simblet’s drawings feature individual tree portraits and woodland scenes as well as life-sized illustrations of leaves, fruits and flowers. Highly detailed, they are both accurate depictions of the typical growth patterns and shapes of species, as well as sensitive and vivid translations of some of our most treasured landscapes.
To further celebrate this historic anniversary, 35 prominent people, including authors, artists, horticulturalists and scientists, have been asked to nominate the tree or woodland - inspired book that has most influenced them. The 35 books chosen, which include poetry, novels and children’s books, as well as tree identification guides, forestry texts and planting manuals will be exhibited alongside the drawings.
Throughout 2014 The New Sylva exhibition will travel to Benmore Botanic Garden, Argyll; Scotland, the National Botanic Garden Wales and the National Botanic Gardens of Dublin. This is the first time that prominent botanic gardens in Britain and Ireland have participated in a joint venture of this nature. Each venue is preparing an individual programme of activities including talks, drawing workshops, guided walks and family activities.