The RHS Plant & Art Fair showcased the very best of botanical art and photography, with UK and international artists from as far afield as Australia, the USA and Japan. The show also explored the art of the Japanese garden, with features including ikebana-inspired workshops.
What happened at the show?
The RHS Botanical Art Exhibition brought together artists from around the world who enter artworks each year into a rigorous selection process. This process determines who exhibits at the show, with the added opportunity of winning a much-coveted RHS medal.
This year saw more than 40 artists exhibit works on a variety of botanical subjects including native plants, medicinal plants, tropical plants and specific genera. See the exhibitors list (593kB pdf) for full details of the artists who exhibited.
In addition to the competition artists, there was an array of exhibitors showcasing plant-inspired design, arts and crafts. Botanical Art Worldwide exhibited their digital slideshow of botanical artworks from six different continents, focusing on unique habitats and native plants. Interior design students from the Chelsea College of Art showcased conceptual flower show designs in their exhibit Garden Spectacle, in collaboration with the RHS. There was also a special exhibition of photographic light sculptures by holographic artist Rob Munday from his NATURALIUM series, in association with the Little Black Gallery.
The 2018 RHS Photographic Competition, sponsored by the Sunday Times, took place at the show and featured winners from each competition category. This year, there was more than 10,000 entries, with photographers entering nine different categories including Pure Plants, Urban Gardening, Social Media and Portfolio. See the exhibitors list (593kB pdf) for details.
►RHS London Plant and Art Fair 2018 Awards (101kB pdf)
The winners of the RHS Photographic Competition
Talks and demos
A programme of free talks and live demos took place on both show days, offering inspiring perspectives on summer planting and unique insights into the world of botanical art and Japanese garden design. There were talks from horticulturist and journalist Alys Fowler, and Nick Bailey, a horticulturist and TV presenter. There was also live portrait painting and still life painting from artist Ann Witheridge, founder of London Fine Art Studios. Floral artist Paul Malget demonstrated the principles of Ikebana while speaking on this Japanese art form. Please see the exhibitors list (593kB pdf) for full details.
Bonsai expert and nursery owner Mark D’Cruz created a stunning Bonsai Garden full of beautiful specimens celebrating this Japanese art form. He brought a specially-curated collection of small and large Bonsai from Mă-Kè Bonsai Nursery, offering inspiration to beginners and experts alike. There was also be plenty of summer garden inspiration to take home, with seasonal plants and garden wares from leading UK nurseries and horticultural suppliers.
Zita Elze, 2018 RHS London Shows Floral Artist in Residence, created an inspiring summer floral installation, with the Japanese art of origami flowing through the design. Visitors took the opportunity to learn the techniques of Japanese flower arranging with Ikebana-inspired floristry workshops by floral designer Paul Malget, La Famille. In addition to this, tutors from the Chelsea School of Botanical Art ran free botanical painting and illustration workshops, teaching the skills required to create a floral masterpiece.
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