Convergence of botanical art, science and environmental impact

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Botanical art is any kind of art that is an accurate representation of plants. This art form, as opposed to normal art of plants, is very detailed and accurate. A botanical artist is different to that of a flower painter as their intention is to often have their works of art to be useful in science. This could be attributed to the work of a botanical artist being more detailed than a photo produced by a camera, making it essential to plant identification. Botanical art grew in popularity during the 18th century as it became a fashionable past time for aristocratic ladies, who hired several prominent botanical artists to become their tutors.

Similarly, Wildlife art is the artistic depiction of animals, which can be in a hyper-realistic style or in a style where it utilises the creative flexibility of the Oriental art. Contemporary wildlife art is very different to what it once was, it no longer focuses on beautiful renditions of scientifically accurate animals, it is instead a sad copy of a photograph which reduces the animal to a tiny part of its habitat. The decision for some artists to free themselves from the creative constraints of hyper-realism divided the world of wildlife art into traditionalist artists and explorative artists. The traditional artists wished to maintain the photographic style of their art, painting every detail the way it was in nature. Whereas the explorative artists wished to trial different ways of capturing their vision, which was already familiar with other branches of art.

There are countless different types of art styles in the world, however the convergence of botanical art, science and environmental impact set the stage perfectly for encouraging bright synergistic minds and using talent for communicating difference.

Wildlife and Botanical Artists Incorporate (WABA) was such an organisation, founded to bring artists, scientists, and environmentalists together to promote appreciation of our natural wildlife and botanical heritage.

The aim was to reach national and international wildlife and botanical artists and to meet the needs of members through providing information on exhibitions, commissions and events.

Activities includes monthly meetings with guest presenters, field trips, workshops and exhibitions.

With a vision to embrace bringing artists, scientists and environmentalists together to promote appreciation of our natural wildlife and botanical heritage.

While it now ceases to operate, WABA pursued excellence in art and embraces both the classic style and the innovative approach to botanical art. WABA aimed to not only promote and protect the rich diversity of Australia’s plant life by all reasonable and appropriate means, but they aim to stimulate the interest in plants, conservation, horticulture and the environment through beautiful and unique botanical art. The members of WABA are provided for through institute workshops with experienced and well-regarded tutors, newsletters and websites, as well as conveying their relevant information about any current botanical art classes, exhibitions and even excursions.

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