Botanic art and classes
Botanic art or the art of botanical illustration is a highly specialised art form, in which plant portraits combine finely observed detail with artistic expression. Interest in this art form has greatly increased over the years and currently the Friends hold a number of classes conducted by their experienced botanic art teachers - Dianne Emery, Mali Moir and Helen Burrows. See below for more information on our classes and teachers.
Botanic Art Term Classes (8 week terms)
Location and Cost
Friends' Botanic Art teachers
Born in the United Kingdom, Dianne studied art at the National Gallery School in Melbourne followed by a diploma of Education. She worked as an artist and a teacher for many years, teaching at secondary, TAFE and tertiary levels.Always interested in plants and horticulture, Dianne enrolled part-time at Burnley Horticultural College where later she began teaching short courses in Botanical Illustration.This was followed by courses taught at Swinburne University, Melbourne CAE, Royal Botanic Gardens and workshops in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and regional Victoria.She currently works at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, where she has been running workshops and classes since 1996. Dianne has exhibited widely both here and interstate, including, since 1994, The Art of Botanical Illustration at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.Recent exhibitions include:
- The Art of Botanical Illustration 2010
- Botanicasia 2009,
- Botanica 2008, ‘Nature + Art’,
- Natural History at Woodbine Gallery, Malmsbury,
- ‘The Forgotten Flora’ travelling show from the National Herbarium Melbourne,
- Botanica 2006 ‘The Masters Exhibition,’
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney: 2005, Red Box Gallery, The Herbarium, Sydney;
- a solo show at Woodbine Art Gallery, Malmsbury, Victoria.
Dianne has won the Celia Rosser medal twice, in both 2002 and 2004. Her works are held in the Victorian State collection, Geelong Regional Gallery, Esso Collection and in private collections in Australia and overseas.
Mali Moir began her career as botanical artist in 1993 at the National Herbarium of Victoria. Combining botanical and horticultural knowledge with artistic skills Mali has contributed pen and ink drawings for Flora of Victoria, Flora of Australia, Mulleria and other scientific publications.
Working closely with botanists in this area Mali understands the importance of scientific accuracy, the fundamentals of precise measurement and thorough depiction of detail. She teaches botanical illustration in association with the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, at private art groups and conducts workshops in Victoria, interstate and overseas. Mali was awarded a Gold Medal by The Royal Horticultural Society London and an invited exhibitor to the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation USA. She is recipient of an inaugural Celia Rosser Medal and twice finalist in the Waterhouse Art Prize. Mali was the first Australian to receive the Focus On Nature Purchase Award by New York State Museum USA. In 2009 Mali received a Highly Commended Award, ‘Margaret Flockton Art Prize’, RBG Sydney.
She exhibits widely in Australia and internationally and has produced many works for private, public and corporate collections.Mali has great interest in working in the area of conservation and was proud to donate a painting for the charity auction ‘Name a New Species of Shrimp’ held by Australian Marine Conservation Society in association with Museum Victoria, Mali also contributes to ‘Art for Sharks’ with AMCS, evidence to her sincere belief, inspired by a comment by John Wolseley, that “artists make science visible”Mali has a keen interest in the artistic interpretation of natural history themes. She approaches her work with traditional techniques whilst developing a fresh contemporary look. Mali executes works on paper with the consummate skill of a dedicated artist as she combines her fascination for science and nature with an active desire to render works of art with beauty, character and scientific merit.
Helen’s botanical watercolour illustrations are represented in:
- The Victorian National Herbarium collection,
- The Government House Florilegium Project,
- The Illustrated Garden Collection,
- The National Library of Australia,
- The Huntington Library (California),
- The Hunt Institute of the Carnegie Mellon University (Pennsylvania),
- The Lindley Library Royal Horticultural Society (London),
- galleries and private collections throughout Australia and overseas.
- the Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum of Berlin-Dahlem
- the Missouri Botanical Garden Library
- Herbarium Library of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Helen's illustrative work has been used in various publications including the 'Jenny Phillip's Australian Botanical Artists National Trust Desk Diary', the 'Illustrated Garden Collection' (Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne) and 'Botanic News'.
Helen currently teaches Botanical Illustration at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne and the Geelong Botanic Gardens, Victoria. A professional graphic designer, Helen has also worked in both secondary and tertiary education sectors teaching art and lecturing in Design and Graphic Communication.
Her recent work includes specialisation in Australian camellia cultivars and she has completed three volumes of camellias in limited edition. Her passionate interest in gardening and horticulture has found expression in her commitment to botanical illustration.