Botanical painting has a long and specific history, cataloguing plant species in excruciating detail, often abstracting them against a plain paper void away from their natural context. Moving away from this conventional approach to botanical art but continuing a tradition of valued documentation of flowers that has earned her five Royal Horticultural Gold Medals, artist Rosie Sanders creates contemporary and striking portraits of backlit blooms in the less than perfect phases of degeneration.
The fading colour and desiccating contortions of the petals make for ideal subject matter as Rosie carefully applies layers of brilliant transparent watercolour, occasionally illuminating the forms with gold leaf. When something looks so real as to be almost photographic, it is easy to forget the level of observation they require and it’s a wonderful, mediative thought to consider the intensity of their making.
These paintings will be on show in Against the Light at the Jonathan Cooper gallery from June 8-23.