In order to ensure that the Illustrations Collection continues to develop and grow, RBGE is currently exploring the idea of establishing a Florilegium Society, with associated funding, to produce a visual record of its living collection and to reflect its scientific and horticultural interests.
The aim of the Society would be to create a permanent, visual record of RBGE’s botanical and horticultural work through the acquisition of illustrations of the plants that are grown, collected, studied and named by RBGE staff. The Society would also raise RBGE’s profile as an important centre of botanical art in relation to both our educational work and our art collection.
As a first step down this road, RBGE is working with BISCOT, the Scottish-based exhibition of contemporary botanical illustration that is held annually at Gardening Scotland and RBGE. In 2019 a new “RBGE Florilegium” category will be introduced to the competition, encouraging artists to create works that feature plants with a particular connection to the RBGE, e.g. gingers, rhododendrons, begonias, gesners, new species described by RBGE scientists, etc.
CALL FOR ENTRIES 2019
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is setting up a Florilegium, with associated funding, to produce a visual record of its living collection and to reflect its scientific and horticultural interests. There is a statutory requirement for the Library to develop its collection and the Florilegium’s aim is to acquire contemporary botanical art in order for the Library to continue to make good use of its collection e.g. with regular exhibitions, acquisitions and use on merchandise.
Whilst discussions are ongoing as to the exact nature of the Florilegium, it has been agreed that the idea can be launched at the 2019 Botanical Images Scotland (BISCOT) exhibition, with an invitation to artists worldwide to submit work for a RBGE Florilegium category alongside the regular multi-work, award giving BISCOT exhibition. There is no charge for entry but there will be a selection process. It is hoped that a fund will be available for the Library to acquire works from the exhibited items for its collection.
Initially work will be mounted, but not framed, and hung via foam board (as at BISCOT). Sizes are important as works selected for the Florilegium may be framed by RBGE for future display.
This is a wonderful opportunity for botanical artists around the world to display plants from their country that are also associated with RBGE, one of the world’s leading Botanic Gardens. The selected plants might be rare, endangered or have some other particular interest, either scientific or cultural. For artists there is the accolade of having works selected for Scotland’s National Collection of Botanical art, joining artists such as Lillian Snelling, Margaret Stones, Rodella Purves, Işik Güner and Claire Banks. For more information about the existing collection, much of which has been acquired through generous donation by the artists.
1. A list of plants for illustration is attached and is also available from the Florilegium website (above).
2. Please express your interest in any of the listed plants to the artist coordinator, Sarah Howard via email (Florilegium@rbge.org.uk). Sarah will help direct you to a botanist, if necessary, and take bookings for use of the Cottage at RBGE (no charge) where material can be made available. Dates when the Cottage is available are posted on this website.
3. If you are painting a specimen in your own country, we strongly encourage you to explore your own botanic gardens and to make contact with a local botanist.
4. Paintings must conform to 3 window sizes, with appropriate margin, or you may wish to take your painting to the edge: A4 (21 x 29.7cm); A3 (29.7 x 42cm); A2 (42 x 59.4 cm).
5. Paper must be at least 2 cm larger than window size all round.
6. Only original botanical art in 2-dimensions is acceptable. No photography, digital or 3-dimensional art.
7. For selection, digital scanned images must be submitted, accompanied by the application form, available from this page, by 5 April 2019. Resolution of at least 300dpi and 2400 pixels (8” high) TIFF or JPEG, via WeTransfer or Dropbox.
8. Regular updated information will be available on this page, e.g. plants in flower. Artists will be given an option of donating their work, if the Library wishes to add it to the collection.
9. Selection will be made by 12 April 2019, when arrangements will be made with artists to send their paintings, together with contract, shipping information etc.
10. Mounts (matte) and foam board for selected works must be supplied by artist in white/off white – 8 cm wide all sides for the A4 window size, or 10 cm for A3 and A2 window size. Acetate sheet must cover the painted area.
11. Insurance and shipping costs are the responsibility of the artist.
12. Biscot dates are: 31 May to 2 June at Gardening Scotland near Edinburgh, then 5th – 20th June at the RBGE. Selected Florilegium work will be hung at RBGE only.
If you have any queries, or would like to stay in touch with future developments, please contact the artist coordinator, Sarah Howard, at Florilegium@rbge.org.uk (your personal data will be stored in accordance with RBGE's Data Protection Policy.)