A unique collaboration celebrates art and nature at the Botanics
An exclusive limited-edition scarf, described by Dame Joanna Lumley as ‘heavenly’, was inspired by the changing beauty of the seasons at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). The unique artwork, created by one of Edinburgh’s top artists, pays tribute to the organisation’s magnificent Living Collection of plants.
Impressed by Edinburgh-based artist Annie Broadley’s earlier work “Autumn Hedgerow”, the Garden’s Product Development Team commissioned the painter to create a new product – a limited-edition silk satin scarf - that would celebrate biodiversity and the role of the Botanics’ in global conservation and research.
Helena Lawrence, Commercial Manager at RBGE said: “The initial idea was to create a card design, but on meeting Annie and seeing more of her nature studies, we soon realised that a scarf would be the perfect medium to help highlight both the beauty and importance of nature.
“It was so exciting to visit Annie’s Studio every couple of months and to see how, detail by detail, the design seemed to emerge from the background, almost as if the mist had cleared from the Botanics’ Pond.
“As a charity, proceeds from sales of the scarf will contribute towards our important work in plant science and biodiversity research. In addition, Annie Broadley will be donating half her fee from the design of the scarf to the global animal welfare charity, Compassion in World Farming. We are hugely grateful to Dame Joanna Lumley for her kind support of both charities.”
Annie Broadley added: “I spent hours walking round the beautiful Garden and found that I was consistently drawn to the wonderful willow trees that surround the pond. They soon became the inspiration for this work.
“One day while working on a willow branch, I remembered the Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem which begins ‘As kingfishers catch fire…’ and knew immediately that these birds had a place in this painting.”
The design evolved over several months as Annie Broadley worked on paper measuring two metres by 60 centimetres, using mono-print, watercolour ink, collage and acrylic to create the special artwork. The design was then translated into silk satin by specialist textile printers. Only 150 scarves have been produced and each is presented in its own bespoke box with a card signed by the artist.
Main image: Dame Joanna Lumley is wearing the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s limited-edition silk scarf, ‘By the River’s Rim’, created exclusively for RBGE by well-known Edinburgh-based artist Annie Broadley. Proceeds from all sales will go to support the important charitable work of the Garden in plant science and biodiversity research.
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