Artistic Endeavour: Contemporary botanical artists’ response to the legacy of Banks, Solander and Parkinson

National Exhibition Register

  • Banksia serrata
    Anne Hayes Banksia serrata
    Watercolour on paper
    76 x 56 cm
    Image Credit
    Courtesy of the artist

About the exhibition

Museums & Galleries Queensland is seeking expressions of interest for a new touring exhibition, Artistic Endeavour: Contemporary botanical artists’ response to the legacy of Banks, Solander and Parkinson (working title), by artists from the Botanical Artists’ Society of Queensland.

The year 2020 marks the 250th Anniversary of the Endeavour voyage along the east coast of Australia by scientists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander together with illustrator Sydney Parkinson. Of the 30,000 specimens of flora and fauna collected on this ‘Voyage of Discovery’, most were new to European science and became the ‘type specimen’ which described the species.

Curated by Beth Jackson in collaboration with artist and botanist Dr Nita C Lester, this exhibition reflects on the significance of botanical specimens collected from our region 250 years ago, and the emergence of botanical art. It showcases sixty-five exquisite works by thirty-three members of the Botanical Artists’ Society of Queensland (BASQ).

The exhibiting artists have shown work, won prizes and are represented in both national and international collections. Dorothee Nijgh de Sampayo Garrido’s works are held in collections such as the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation (Carnegie Mellon University, US), New York State Museum and the National Herbarium of Victoria.

Dr Tanya Hoolihan was awarded a PhD in Natural History Illustration from the University of Newcastle and has won several awards including the Graham Gilchrist Medal and the Margaret Senior Wildlife Illustration Award.

Minjung Oh is a member of the Korean Botanical Art Cooperation and has exhibited in Australia, China, Taiwan and Korea. Her work was exhibited at the International Botanical Congress exhibition in Beijing, China in 2017 and Taipei Botanical Garden Exhibition, Taiwan, 2019.

Drawing from historical sources, including the journals of Banks and Solander, sketchbooks by Sydney Parkinson and specimens held at the Queensland Herbarium, some of which were collected in 1770, along with living plants growing in National Parks, Botanic Gardens and bushland reserves, the artists have created plant portraits that reveal the vibrancy and intricate beauty of Australia’s unique botanical heritage.

In preparation for this exhibition, the artists have observed their selected plant over its yearly cycle.

Artistic Endeavour has a rich historical context while also being a contemporary snapshot of Australia’s precious native flora, expressing wonder and an implicit ongoing need for knowledge, care and preservation.

The exhibition will showcase diverse approaches to botanical art, from traditional to contemporary, and focus on the development of botanical art as artists established more transportable methods and materials to enable them to join scientists in the field.

Botanical art has seen a resurgence in popularity by connecting people to plants. The exhibition will appeal to the general public, but it will be of particular interest to artists, historians, botanists, conservation and garden groups, educators and school groups.

Artists and Curator

Beth Jackson in collaboration with artist and botanist Dr Nita C Lester

Gillian Alfredson, Catherin Bull, Edwin Butler, Robyn Douglas, Naomi Florence, Sandra Ford, Jennifer Foster-Hamilton, K-le Gomez Cabrera, Julia Hancock, Anne Hayes, Cassandra Hodgins, Tanya Hoolihan, Beverley J Irwin, Florence Joly, Dianne Lois Kelly, Nita C. Lester, Dorothee Nijgh de Sampayo Garrido, Minjung Oh, Ann Phillips, Colin Price, Pauline Putland, Eva Richards, Beryl Robertson, Inger Rowe, Louise Saunders, Ann Schinkel, Liz Showniruk, Marcelle Stirling, Kay Sullivan, Ellen Terrell, Penny Watson, Lindsay Watts, Gwenda White.

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
01/08/2020 onwards
Exhibition size
Between 75-100 sq or running metres
Originating state
Organised by
Botanical Artists’ Society of Queensland
Web Site
Accompanying materials available
Catalogue/Book, Education Kit, Exhibition Tour Manual, Interpretative/Didactic Panels, Labels, Media Kit, Public Program Opportunities, Signage
Other materials
Merchandise (packs of blank cards featuring a selection of works from the exhibition)
Primary contact
Rachael De Groot
Exhibition Program Officer
Museums & Galleries Queensland
07 3059 9745