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Botanical painting group exhibition blossoms in Diss

PUBLISHED: 14:34 04 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:37 04 May 2019

Isobel Bartholomew who formed the Iceni Botanical Artists group that is holding an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Ian Burt

Isobel Bartholomew who formed the Iceni Botanical Artists group that is holding an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Ian Burt

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Isobel Bartholomew formed Iceni Botanical Artists in 2010 in the hope that there would be sufficient interest in this specialised style of watercolour painting. Almost a decade later, the group have opened their latest exhibition at Diss Corn Hall.

Ickworth by Ruth Simpson, part of the Iceni Botanical Artists exhibition in Diss. Picture: Diss Corn HallIckworth by Ruth Simpson, part of the Iceni Botanical Artists exhibition in Diss. Picture: Diss Corn Hall

With a membership now of almost 30 artists, all based in East Anglia, the group specialise in painting the world of plants in inks, oils and watercolour in styles varying from detailed botanical plant studies to natural habitat landscapes.

Mrs Bartholomew, who regularly exhibits across the UK and has been awarded RHS medals on nine occasions, as well as publishing in several books, said: “I am happy to say that the group now attracts artists from all over the region and with the support of talented, enthusiastic members, has gone from strength to strength.”

The group specialises in painting the world of plants in all mediums with a majority favouring watercolour. Their styles vary from botanical plant portraits requiring hours of patient painting with a high level of accuracy and detail, through to natural habitat landscapes.

Caltha Palustris by T. Bone part of the Iceni Botanical Artists exhibition in Diss. Picture: Diss Corn HallCaltha Palustris by T. Bone part of the Iceni Botanical Artists exhibition in Diss. Picture: Diss Corn Hall

Renowned for creating botanical paintings of rare and endangered wild flowers of the Breckland area – in 2014 they worked on a three year HLF project, Breaking New Ground on this theme.

Later IBA produced 45 plant portraits of some of the rare and endangered wild flowers of the Breckland area which was taken on a touring exhibition to six locations, including the RHS in London.

The book “Breckland Wild Flowers – Heaths and Grasslands” was first published in 2016 and is into its third edition.

Daffodils and Freesias by Zoe Norman part of the Iceni Botanical Artists exhibition in Diss. Picture: Diss Corn HallDaffodils and Freesias by Zoe Norman part of the Iceni Botanical Artists exhibition in Diss. Picture: Diss Corn Hall

Since the very early days of plant identification, through the 17th and 18th century until the present day, the interest in botanical art and illustration has not diminished, and standards of accuracy and technical skill continue to rise and amaze. Paintings of the plant world have never been so well represented with dazzling colours, dramatic and imaginative compositions and intricate detail.

During their two month Diss exhibition is group is also running two one day workshops covering drawing and botanical painting; Spring Flowers and Little Dewdrops on May 8 and Observational Botanical Drawing on June 1.

• Iceni Botanical Artists: Spring Into Summer runs at Diss Corn Hall until June 29. For details of the workshops visit IBA events

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