Over the past eight years, Claregalway Castle has become the premier centre for botanical art and illustration in the west of Ireland, thanks to the annual Botanical Art Expo held in conjunction with the Galway Garden Festival every July.
Galway City Arts Officer James Harrold will open the Botanical Art Expo at the Castle on Monday July 1 at 7pm. He will also launch the Castle’s new, mostly bilingual publication The Claregalway Castle Project, which celebrates the history and restoration of the Castle and the annual events that are held there.
This specialised genre of painting and drawing, which aims to illustrate plants in an aesthetically pleasing style while maintaining scientific accuracy, has enjoyed a revival in Ireland in recent years, thanks in great part to the formation in 2014 of the Irish Society of Botanical Artists (ISBA ).
Based at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, the Society welcomes artists of all levels of experience and ability. It aims to facilitate interaction amongst botanical artists in Ireland, and to foster and inspire their creative development through various projects, workshops, lectures, and other events.
Among the paintings in this year’s exhibition are works by award-winning artists Yanny Petters, Lynn Stringer, Shevaun Doherty, Greta Pertl and Nayana Sandur. The exhibition is curated by Jane Stark, another award-winning botanical artist who is based in the Galway area. Most of the participating artists are members of the ISBA.