Delicate flowers from the Tower of London, to bold tulips that can’t be sold only donated, to seaweed and huge peonies — it can only be the RHS Botanical Art & Photography Show at the Saatchi Gallery.

Although the RHS has been awarding prizes for botanical drawings for over a century, it’s only in the past couple of years that there’s been a public exhibition, and it has returned for a third year.

Two large rooms filled with daylight are decorated along the walls by some astonishingly delicate drawings and paintings. Botanical art is a curious mix of the scientific and the artistic, as the artist seeks to capture the essence of what makes the plant what it is.

Often they are hybrid paintings, where several plants are combined to create the specimen article, and you’ll often see details such as the life cycle of the seeds, of decay, or the roots below ground.

As these are prize winning paintings, each one is accompanied by their medals, from bronze to gold, and often a note about how the paintings were composed — some being very technical others more poetic about the flowers they love.

The collection is wide ranging, with artists depicting plants of ecological importance including English seaweed and Scottish lichens, Australian Algae, endangered plants of Korea, and wildflowers of Greece. Heritage garden blooms are also featured, sitting together with pictures of fabulous fruit and medicinal herbs.

The RHS Botanical Art & Photography Show 2023 is at the Saatchi Gallery until 8th July 2023.

Standard Tickets: £7 | Students & Seniors 65+: £5 | Children Aged 6-16 years: £6 | Family tickets: £17 | Under 10’s: Free entry when accompanied by an adult ticket holder

Saatchi Gallery & RHS Members: Free Entry

Tickets can be bought on the door, or in advance from here.


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