BOTANICA: The Art of Plants gathers selected historic and contemporary works from the collection to probe how artists have, over time, represented gardens, flowers, herbs, and trees in their practices through pastel, pencil, paint, print, and sculpture.
Running from spring to autumn, this exhibition touches on the histories of plant collecting – and ethical questions of colonialism that arise from it – and considers the place of gardening, the hidden meanings of flowers, and the medicinal applications of plants, among other themes.
BOTANICA offers a timely reflection on our relationship with plants. Indeed, just as the pandemic has underscored Millennials’ increasing attraction to caring for houseplants, our impact on the environment and biodiversity has come to define a new geological age: the Anthropocene.
In art, plants have figured as accompaniments to important themes, borne symbolic meanings, and emerged as subjects in their own right.
In this exhibition, the selected artworks range from landscapes and still lifes to botanical and arboreal studies. Are there encoded meanings in flowers? What are the medicinal qualities of plants? Can trees speak?