Discovering the Flora of Wind Song: Botanical Art and Science

Opens 04-12-2020,  closes 28-02-2021

Salon Gallery

“A picture is worth a thousand words”, and never more so than in botanical art, where the illustrator is able to distil, emphasise and depict the essential features of a plant in a way that complements, and even surpasses, the detailed language of description.

From the very dawn of civilisation, the beauty of plants has been captured by artists.

The partnership between artists and scientific expeditioners also has a long tradition, with botanical artists such as Sydney Parkinson (1745–1771), who accompanied Captain James Cook on the voyage of the Endeavour, and Ferdinand Bauer (1760–1826), who was part of Mathew Flinders’ Investigator voyage, leaving a stunning legacy of illustrations of the animals and plants encountered during the expeditions.

In keeping with this tradition, 12 botanical artists from the group Botaniko accompanied TMAG’s botanists on their inaugural Expedition of Discovery at Wind Song on Tasmania’s East Coast in November 2017, to discover and document the plants of the area.

Wind Song is a 220 hectare former farming property, situated at Little Swanport on Tasmania’s East Coast. A 42 hectare parcel of the property is protected as a private reserve and was recently gifted to the traditional owners through the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania. The area holds a deep connection for Tasmanian Aboriginal people and was used as a site of habitation and as a corridor for travelling.

The Botaniko artists drew inspiration from the plants of Wind Song, and the works on show in this exhibition depict a selection of the 190 species of vascular plants and 170 lichens observed from the property.

Image details:
Artwork: Viola hederacea, Chantale Delrue, 2020. Photograph: Wind Song.