People often ask me what I do
and it’s a difficult question to answer because I do lots of things. I guess I spend most of my time learning how to illustrate plants – a journey I began back in 2003 whilst studying botany at university. It is a skill that always needs refinement and I will probably be perfecting it for the rest of my life.
The wonder that occurs when art collides with science is awe inspiring. I believe that by blending art with science we begin to generate new harmonies. There was a very distinct moment when I realised that as a botanist what I was doing needed to be expressed visually as well as academically. In my artwork I try to explore how the viewer experiences and interprets scientific material that is represented visually in a beautiful way. I paint plants simply because I enjoy the challenge of depicting them as accurately as I can, whilst capturing their essence.
During the day I work in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Prior to this, I worked in natural history as a curator at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery where I spent two years compiling a touring exhibition of the herbarium and mineral collections of Sir John St Aubyn (1759-1839).
I am working on a personal diary project illustrating every single plant I have used over a twelve month period. This project has evolved from several years of previous work and research with plant collections and it will be original in its effort to underline the connections between the mechanical and natural worlds and will challenge current perceptions of botanical art and its use in the 21st Century.