Some of you have been following the progress of Beckler’s Botanical Bounty for years, from the first visits to the outback town of Menindee, through my paintings of the plants I found there, to working on things for the Exhibition of our work at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. For those of you who are newer to my blog I will give you a couple of links to bring you up to speed.
A collection of posts about my involvement in the project Beckler’s Botanical Bounty.
The website of out project, which has condensed versions of who we are, what we are doing and who Hermann Beckler was and why he is important.
My newsletter subscribers have seen a little of what I am about to show you in this post. Click here if you would like to get my free, fortnightly newsletter.
Our Opening was Saturday of last week, and I didn’t stop smiling for the whole day!
I was moved to tears when I first walked into the room of our exhibition. It looked so beautiful! Someone said later that it was like walking into a science book. Another said it was like the environment of the Menindee area ~ you were encouraged to look closer to see the treasures that were hidden in plain sight.
My first glimpse, and then with lots of people from the Opening…..
Photos don’t do justice to the paintings. Botanic art requires fine details, often microscopic, to be shown, as these can be the identifying feature. However, the following gallery of photos will give you a taste of what a selection of the 40 paintings are like. (Apologies for the poorly cropped photos.)
But let me be a real show off and give a full photo to my three paintings! (Well, it is my blog!!)
The Project has had four themes going through it ~ Art, Country, History and Science. We wanted to reflect those themes in the display too. There are four plinths in the centre of the room, each showing artefacts to illustrate the theme.
The actual Opening was great fun. There were about 300 people there, all excited about the Exhibition (but probably not as excited as me!). So many people that our speakers, including Prof. Tim Entwisle, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Victoria and opening speaker, were just heads above the crowd.
As well as the Welcome to Country we had a Smoking Ceremony that cleansed all who laid a gum leaf on the smouldering fire. I felt very blessed to have been involved.
The catalogue of the Project had taken a lot of time from a lot of people. It was worth it, because now we have a very elegant record of the Project and the paintings in the Exhibition. They sold like hot cakes at the Opening.
Over 20 artists have been involved since 2010, the beginning of all of this. There has been a range of artistic abilities but it was always our intention that each artist would have the chance to have at least one painting exhibited, and every exhibiting artist is included in the catalogue. So, let me show off some more and post my spread!
And finally…..one of the joys of the Opening was that my Mum was able to be there. (You can spot her in a few of the photos!) And my regret that my Dad wasn’t there. Mum is 91 and has always been my strongest supporter, in everything I have done. She has followed my travels to Menindee and all my art that has flowed from the trips. Today I opened a card she had sent me, and what she wrote shows you why she is such a special person.
What an amazing time we all had last week at Ballarat! How proud we are of you! This has been a great journey for you, and we hope, that whatever art road you choose to travel, you have much enjoyment and adventure.
Who knows where your many talents are going to lead you ~ but you do know that your family is behind you always!
Much, much fond love, dearest Anne
So, if you are any where near to Ballarat, or know of someone who is, the details are
Beckler’s Botanical Bounty: the Flora of Menindee
at the Art Gallery of Ballarat (the link will give you directions)
on now until May 27th
or click here for a quicker link
27 replies on “The Exhibition is Open!”
Thank you Francesca. I am honoured to have been part of it.
At times like this, I wish plane travel was easier for me… Many congratulations on participating in such an exciting and important project and exhibition.
It is a shame that you won’t be able to make it down. ☹️ The photos don’t do it justice as they require a close, detailed look.
We are considering a trip to Tassie next year on the motorbike. Depending on the state of my back, I’ll either ride down with the Husband, or fly, or if it’s really bad, we’ll come down by car. Either way, we’ll be in Melbourne to catch the Spirit of Tasmania, so I hope to catch up with you then.
What a wonderful project to be involved with Anne, especially over a period of time. Your work is beautiful, and your mum’s words are such a delight. She is worth bottling!
Thank you Anna ~ high praise coming from you! You are so right about my Mum, she is a delight and I am so blessed to still have her in my life.
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Beautiful work, Anne. Thank you for sharing it with us. Aren’t our beautiful Mothers such a blessing!
It was my pleasure to share, as I feel so proud to be part of it. And yes, Mums are just wonderful. Her unconditional love is my mainstay.
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Wow! This exhibition looks beautiful! If I were nearby I would most definitely visit! Enjoy it as much as possible!
I also love the postcard your Mom sent, she must be a wonderful person!
And I would be there to give you a guided tour! What a shame that won’t happen, but thank you for visiting vicariously 😊
Thank you Sandi 😘 I am still on quite a high!
Ann what a fabulous exhibition and what a fabulous project to have been involved in. I’ll be in Ballarat in April, hopefully we’ll make it to the gallery to see your work first hand. 🙂
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I do hope you will be able to make it Sandra. I’d love to hear what you think of it. Ballarat is a grea place to visit, isn’t it.
I’ve been visiting since I was a kid, two gens have maintained a family of great friends there. I remember horses in the main street!
CONGRATULATIONS! After all that work, effort and dedication, a thoroughly successful exhibition. Be proud. Going to tweet now. 🙂
Aw, thank you Meeks. And thanks for the tweet ~ it’s good to spread the word. I do feel very proud of what we have achieved. It is a project shows the importance of citizen scientists.
It sure does. I was reading just recently about other citizen scientists actually ‘discovering’ a planet orbiting a distant star. I suspect that experts don’t always retain the passion and persistence that citizen scientists do.
Congratulations !! Love your work !
Congratulations Anne! It looks absolutely amazing. How wonderful so many people were there for the opening. Your bio and artwork are truly lovely. I just wish I would be able to see it in person. Maybe next time!
Fantastic accomplishment. Love the pics. Thanks for sharing your mum’s note. It’s wonderful.
splendid all round – congratulations on a fine show…
Thank you! (And thanks for taking the time to comment)
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my pleasure 🙂
Anne, you posted this while I was still traveling. I’ve been waiting for a time to read when I could give it my full attention. You’ve poured your heart and soul into this work and it shows. I’ve long-admired your work. What a thrill to see your paintings become part of a great whole. I love the subtle and beautiful exhibit display, the open space and light allowing for maximum viewing and the story telling in the center. It made me smile seeing the photo of you in front of your work and what a treat to see your mum as well. What a gift to have her in your life for so long, and to have her remain active and lucid well into her nineties. There is so much to love here, Anne. Thanks for sharing all of it.
Are the lovely catalogs for sale?