Written by Annette Townsend (Interdisciplinary Natural History Artist) & Sally Whyman (Curator: Botany Curator, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales).
Plants growing on the wall of a London art gallery!! On closer inspection you discover they are alien plants, introduced to the UK. Looking even closer you realise they are delicate sculptures, handmade from beeswax, paraffin wax, tinned copper wire, tissue paper, cotton thread, artists’ pigments, acrylic paint and acrylic varnish.
Mounted on stainless steel plates with stainless steel strips, and epoxy printed collector labels, in a juxtaposition of historic and modern materials and techniques, each sculpture mimics a real herbarium sheet, found in the Welsh National Herbarium, Amgueddfa Cymru.
The brainchild of Annette Marie Townsend and Sally Whyman who wanted to combine the skill, vision and dexterity of the artist with the depth of collection knowledge of the curator, allowing the plants to come to life and escape the confining folders and cabinets of the herbarium. This Aliens series allows the plants tell their stories of biodiversity change and invasive species to new audiences, further afield than museum visitors and botanical researchers.Continue reading