Tristan Hoare is delighted to present Botanica, an exhibition curated with Flora Goodwin and Omar Mazhar, which focuses on the work of a diverse group of artists who have sought their inspiration from the natural world. From ancient times through to today, artists have interpreted nature in different ways and for different purposes. Today art is constantly categorised, but by stepping back and looking from a wider angle we find artists from different times and cultures employing a multitude of techniques, who have sought inspiration from a universal beauty in the natural world.
The genesis of Botanica are the paintings by Rory McEwen, an artist widely regarded as the greatest botanical artist of the twentieth century. By placing him alongside his friends and contemporaries such as Jim Dine and Cy Twombly as well as contemporary artists, we hope that he will be appreciated not solely through the botanical lens, but also as a great modern artist. In researching the exhibition, we were surprised to discover how many artists had at some point in their career taken an interest in the natural world, often producing work which is different to the style they have become known for. This trend is alive and well in contemporary art, where nature continues to be a vibrant source of inspiration.
The Natural World is both inspiration and mystery, reminding us that we are part of a greater design and connecting us to a higher order. The impulse to study, record and interpret it will always be present and Botanica brings together an eclectic combination of artworks which itself is a small homage to a gigantic theme.