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Flower power: botanical art takes root at Saatchi Gallery

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Flower power: botanical art takes root at Saatchi Gallery
Copyright  euronews
By Damon Embling

A new exhibition at London's Saatchi Gallery is showcasing some of the world’s most fascinating flora. From macro images of microfungi tocolourful garden flowers, the botanical art and photography show, organised by the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society, brings together a diverse range of global works. From both professional and non-professional contributors.

“We’re seeing a bit of a resurgence of interest in plants from a photographic perspective since COVID and the pandemic. Because people were looking for things to photograph, looking for an outlet for their creativity. Plants are close to home, and they can find them anywhere,” said Sian Tyrrell, Portfolio Photography Lead, Royal Horticultural Society.

Euronews
Sian Tyrrell, Portfolio Photography Lead at the Royal Horticultural Society, says there's been a resurgence of interest in plants from a photographic perspective since COVID.Euronews

US architect Sanjay Jani is one of those who took up photography during COVID. Captivated by colours in his garden and local neighbourhood, his seven images on show symbolise a rainbow.

“A good architecture will grab you in, invites you in. And reveal, and excite you with all the reflections, the shadows, the space and it sort of tells you more than you thought when you came in. And I find flowers the same way,” Sanjay Jani told Euronews. 

After the tsunami, people had a real hard time, but plants have continued to grow.

Elsewhere in the exhibition, a series of paintings by Japanese artist Mitsuko Kurashina capture coastal plant colonies thriving in inland areas of Japan - areas flooded after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

“After the tsunami, people had a real hard time, but plants have continued to grow. My wish is to give back strength to people, who will look at this work,” Mitsuko Kurashina said. 

An expedition exploring the Andes and Northern Patagonia also inspired paintings of Viola flowers, by UK artist Nigel Pickering. He was later diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour and passed away last year after completing them. 

Charlotte Brooks, Art Curator, Royal Horticultural Society said: “Whilst he was very limited in his ability to read and write, he was still able to paint. So, these paintings are really testament to the passion and the power of being able to continue painting as a source of soothing and calm, as well as kind of real dedication to your art form.”

Entries for the exhibition are strictly scrutinised by judges, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded, along with other special exhibit accolades.

The botanical art and photography show runs at London’s Saatchi Gallery until the 29th of April.