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Dr Sherwood has always been interested in plants as well as the arts.  She did her undergraduate degree in botany from Oxford University  and her D.Phil working in a team which discovered the important drug Tagamet.

She started the Shirley Sherwood Collection in 1990, and it now includes over 1000 paintings and drawings, representing the work of over 303 contemporary artists from 36 countries around the world. She has been curating exhibitions of works from her collection in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK since it opened in 2008.  She has exhibited her collection in many other prestigious locations including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the Marciana Library in Venice and the Real Jardín Botánico Madrid. She has also written six books and many articles on botanical art.

She is now concentrating on writing a retrospective book about her 30 years of collecting to accompany a large exhibition in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery to be shown later this year.


The Association of British Botanical Artists is honoured to have Dr Sherwood as their founding Patron.


Dr Shirley Sherwood 

OBE, MA (OXON) D.Phil 


Founding member and botanical artist Gaynor was a prime mover for the foundation of ABBA and becomes the Founding Chair.

President & Trustee
Gaynor Dickeson

Founding member and natural history artist with a primary interest in butterflies and their larval host food plants.  Elaine spent 20 years as a science teacher before returning to her love of botanical art.

Vice President, Treasurer & Trustee
Elaine Allsion

A Founding Member, Robin joined the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in 1966 as a Scientific Assistant in the herbarium’s fern department involved in curatorial care, basic taxonomy and morphological work with some 700,000 dried specimens. 

Robin left Kew to join the publicity department in the commercial vehicle industry and during that 40 year period kept his interest in art and biology, painting and drawing.  He is secretary to the Institute for Analytical Plant Illustration and treasurer to a local Sussex art group.

Robin Dickeson

Founding member and highly regarded botanical artist who between paintings works on local plant conservation, surveying wildflower habitats for local authorities and helping local communities improve their wildlife areas.

Botanical Advisor & Trustee
Martin Allen

Art Curator at the RHS Lindley Library in London. Having started looking after the Society's botanical art collection 15 years ago, Charlotte loves seeing how it inspires new artists. With over 400 years' worth of pictures, including works by the most recent RHS Gold medal winners.  Charlotte could never choose just one favourite piece!

Charlotte Brooks

Founding member and keen botanical artist with an interest in depicting all aspects of plant life and encouraging others to do so.

ABBA Champion Coordinator
Anne Girling

Managed by members of the ABBA Team the ABBA Gallery is a key resource for bringing our members together to showcase their work regardless of location.

Gallery Manager
Blackthorn - Cristine Battle