Art showcasing diversity and beauty of Chile comes to Dawyck

An exhibition showcasing work by three award-winning botanical artists will start the new season at Dawyck Botanic Garden, Stobo, near Peebles, when Plants from the Woods and Forests of Chile goes on view at The Studio on 1 February.

Plants from the Woods and Forests of Chile, a selection of specially-commissioned unique watercolour paintings shows the remarkable beauty and diversity of plants native to Chile. The paintings also attest to the skill of three award-winning artists from Turkey – Gülnur Ekşi, Işık Güner and Hülya Korkmaz – and highlight the important research and conservation work undertaken by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) which comprises four Gardens – Edinburgh, Dawyck, Benmore in Argyll and Logan in Dumfries & Galloway.

The exhibition will run until Monday, 29 July and admission to the Studio is free.

The paintings – commissioned for the decade-long RBGE project Plants from the Woods and Forests of Chile – provide a taste of the richness of Chile’s forested habitats. Some of the most iconic and important woodlands and temperate forests in the world, these areas are under great environmental pressure.  The exhibition provides an explanation about why organisations such as RBGE are fighting against time to conserve these natural resources and protect the services they provide for the survival of humankind.

The stunning, award-winning, artworks range from iconic Chilean species such as the monkey puzzle (Araucariaaraucana) to less well known gems, including the southern beech tree (Nothofagus alessandrii). True to the discipline of botanical art, each painting accurately depicts dissections of flowers and fruits and together the collection makes an important contribution to the legacy of botanical illustration in Chile. 

Curator Graham Stewart said: “Plants from the Woods and Forests of Chile features fine botanical art and I am sure it will be appreciated by our visitors over the coming months. Exhibitions such as this are an important way of showcasing the diversity of plants and making people aware of the important plant research and conservation work that RBGE is undertaking both nationally and internationally.

“I am hoping that when visitors see the exhibition they will be encouraged to go into the Garden and seek out plants from Chile that we have growing here at Dawyck.’’

Along with Plants from the Woods and Forest of Chile, Dawyck has a full programme of events and exhibitions lined up for the 2019 season including themed walks, spring and autumn plant sales, pruning and planting workshops and pop-up events.