Gallery's collection set to blossom

Artist unknown, Study of Honeysuckle, watercolour.
Artist unknown, Study of Honeysuckle, watercolour.
Kathleen Salmond, Tulips for Market, watercolour. Images from Dunedin Public Art Gallery collection.
Kathleen Salmond, Tulips for Market, watercolour. Images from Dunedin Public Art Gallery collection.

Flowers will bloom at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on Saturday as one city institution pays tribute to another.

The exhibition ''Nature-study: A Floral Tribute'' marks the 150th anniversary of Dunedin Botanic Garden.

It draws on the gallery's collection and features flower paintings hanging alongside botanical studies. There will also be a selection of items - vases and articles of dress - from the gallery's decorative arts collection that demonstrate the way flowers, as decorative elements and adornments, have entered the domestic and personal spheres.

The title ''Nature-study'' references the education and philosophical movement from the late 19th- and early 20th-century that wanted to reconcile the scientific with the natural world at a time when society was concerned with the future of the next generation.

Nature-study was an aesthetic experience as well as a discipline - a move away from formal textbook science to incorporate a fresh and spontaneous interest in the natural environment. Although one of the most important aspects of a botanic garden is the support of the scientific - of genus and species - it also invites the public to indulge in the colour, perfume and romance attached to flowers.

Dunedin Botanic Garden curator Alan Matchett will speak about the dual role of the garden, its part in botanical science and as a place of sensory pleasure, on Sunday, at 3pm, at the gallery.


See it
''Nature-study: A Floral Tribute'', which marks the 150th anniversary of Dunedin Botanic Garden, runs until September 22.


 

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