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Leverhulme Research Fellowship 2017-20

The drawings, artist’s books, videos, sound works and casts resulting from the project form a range of temporary ‘collections’. These seek to prompt consideration of the fragile nature of plant life, the significance of a herbarium and the urgent need to protect our natural world – and make present the imperceptible nature of the vulnerabilities and resiliences of rare plants through the language of visual art.. These works formed a solo exhibition at Inverleith House, RBGE, Edinburgh, in 2020, which also provided the focus for an accompanying micro-conference with papers delivered by Dr Sarah Casey, (LICA), artist Joel Fisher, Dr Henry Noltie (RBGE), Dr Ian Patterson (University of Cambridge) and Professor Andrew Patrizio (ECA)."

Siân Bowen, 2021

"After Hortus Malabaricus: Sensing and Presencing Rare Plants through Contemporary Drawing Practice opened up possibilities to work with botanists, ecologists, cultural geographers, taxonomists and curators. Plants brought from India to Edinburgh during the 19th century by Scottish surgeons; the extraordinary 17th-century illustrated treatise on plants of Malabar (current-day Kerala)  - Hortus Malabaricus - and living specimens in remote forests and coastal regions of Kerala: all offered sources for enquiry. The project thus allowed encounters with rare plants in darkened herbaria and light-filled South Indian forests and swamps – and an exploration of the sensory differences between plants’ live and preserved states.

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