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Thirty Years of Collecting

Our Patron Shirley Sherwood shares a selection of her Botanical Art

Shirley Sherwood with some of the invited artists who have contributed to her collection.

Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art an Exhibition is at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, Royal Botanical Gardens Kew from 16th November 2019 - 15th March 2020

ABBA representatives were invited to the preview of the latest exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery. I went together with my husband Robin and Pamela Taylor an ABBA Local Champion. Many people may know that this is the only purpose-built botanical art gallery in the world. It introduces people to plants in a completely new way, encouraging people to look at and appreciate them with different eyes.

Dr Sherwood has over a 1000 botanical art pictures in her collection and as she said at the opening, this exhibition and the accompanying book is a retrospective of her collecting. She says that she had a huge problem in deciding which pictures should be included in the exhibition as of course she didn't have room in the gallery to show them all.

The exhibition was opened by Sir Peter Crane who was the former director and Chief Executive at Kew when the Shirley Sherwood Gallery was built. He is now President of the Oak Spring Garden Foundation in the USA.

It was a really lovely evening where we met artists from around the world. It was a good time to catch up with old friends, make new acquaintances, but above all, study the artwork. There is some amazing work there which, if possible, you need to see with your own eyes.

“I enjoyed going to the Shirley Sherwood exhibition. What struck me, was the variety of styles, ranging from dramatic larger than life portrayals of leaves to the exquisite detail shown in painting the most delicate flowers, and how the artists give us glimpses of the immense variety of plants that grow around the world” Pamela Taylor

I know it isn't possible for everyone to get to the exhibition and that is why Dr Shirley Sherwood’s book is a good additional opportunity to see the pictures. ABBA will be reviewing the book in due course.

Mally Francis - Babbington's Leek - Shirley Sherwood Collection

It was fabulous to see the painting of Babbington's Leek (Allium ameloprasum var babingtonii ) by one of ABBA's founder members, Mally Francis, this is one of Shirley Sherwoods last acquisitions. Mally sadly passed away in April this year but her husband Charles Francis and his daughter were both at the preview to represent her.

Dr Shirley Sherwood, our Patron and Robin Dickeson our Secretary. (Photo courtesy of Charles Francis)

Dr Sherwood signed a copy of her book for my husband, Robin. The book and signing was apparently meant to be a Christmas surprise to me from Robin…whoops !

Gaynor Dickeson

ABBA President

November 2019

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