Project Nepal is a programme of Botanical Art Workshops and plant research in the field in Nepal from which to create contemporary Botanical Art Works. It is part of a series of celebratory events taking place to mark the bicentenary of diplomatic relations between Britain and Nepal since the signing of the Treaty of Segauli in 1816. It also highlights the unique and even longer established connection between The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Nepalese botany.
This connection started at the very beginning of the 19th century with Dr. Francis Buchanan Hamilton who trained in botany at RBGE, and continues to the present day with the publication of the Flora of Nepal (www.floraofnepal.org).
Past and Present Connections
From 1801 to 1802, Dr. Francis Buchanan Hamilton, known as ‘The Father of Nepalese Botany’, made the first ever survey of plants in the Kathmandu Valley. This historical record is still very relevant today, used in the current scientific collaboration between the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology in Kathmandu, The Society of Himalayan Botany at the University of Tokyo and The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh who are collectively working towards publishing the complete Flora of Nepal.
Nepalese Plants in Art
When Dr. Hamilton Buchanan made his first plant survey, he commissioned a series of botanical paintings by an Indian artist, now sadly unknown, and over 100 of these beautiful works now form the Buchanan Hamilton Collection, part of the science collections in the Linnean Society, London.
Using these historical paintings as inspiration, RBGE Botanical Artists will create new art works of some of the same plant subjects as well as choosing others which are of ethnobotanical importance or conservation status concern. The exhibition in 2016 will contain both the historical and contemporary Botanical Artworks.
RBGE Botanical Artists
We are six botanical artists associated with The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Led by Jacqui Pestell, Course Director in Botanical Illustration at RBGE, the artists involved are Sharon Tingey, Işık Guner, Claire Banks, Lyn Campbell and Sarah Roberts all of whom teach botanical art at RBGE, including the Botanical Illustration Diploma and Certificate Courses as well as beginners through to master classes.
What we do?
We are sharing our knowledge of Botanical Art through a series of workshops. There will be classes suitable for beginners to more experienced artists, and for all ages, from school children to University students to adults.
We will study Nepalese plants in their natural habitats which will help us understand them better, also learning their stories such as how they are used, or if they might be becoming rare.
From the visual information we collect about Nepalese plants will we create new Botanical Artworks which will be exhibited in 2016 as part of the celebrations of the Bicentenary of British Nepalese Diplomatic relations.