Call for Entries
Opening Date for Submissions - Sunday 9th May, 2021 - Now Open
Closing Date for Entries - Wednesday 15th September, 2021
Exhibition Opens 1st November, 2021
In November this year COP26 ( United Nations - Climate Change Conference ) in Glasgow Scotland, will bring together the nations of the world for one of the most important international meetings for the future of our planet.
Inspired by COP26 the Association of British Botanical Artists is excited to announce that their major exhibition for 2021, ReflectionS, will focus on the crucial role that plants play in the health of our planet.
The title of the exhibition has been choosen because we would like artists to Reflect on the subject and composition they have submitted that best represents the exhibition aims and to Refect on the words that would describe their visual imagery.
COP26 has six major themes and the theme that is relevant to this exhibition is:
“ Nature - to safeguard and restore natural habitats and ecosystems to preserve the planet’s biodiversity “
The Association is currently in discussion with the conference organisers to bring together a digital collection of our members botanical art that will reflect the pivotal role that plants play in preserving the planet's biodiversity.
If chosen by COP26, a juried selection from this collection will be displayed on a large screen in one of the conference zones.
We would love to see your entries for this significant exhibition so make sure you download our information pack using the link at the top of the page. This pack contains important information and it is essential that you read and understand the submission criteria before you submit your work.
Because we are asking for members to develop a visual story around their submission we will be holding a number of Question and Answer Sessions on Zoom in February, March and May to help clear up any questions. The dates are posted below.
If you have any questions before then have a look through the Q&A section below for an answer or please do not hesitate to contact us.
This Q&A will be updated as questions come in so we can share them with all our members.
The ABBA Team
We would also like to get an idea of the level of interest in submitting artwork for this exhibition so if you do think you would like to submit your work after reading the information package then just:
Live Question & Answer Sessions
These Q&As will be live Zoom Sessions at the times and dates shown below. The Zoom link will be the same for all sessions so if you have any questions after reading all the information come join us and hopefully your questions will be answered. You can also send questions in advance stating which session you will attend together with your question(s).
Send your questions to email@example.com.
Tuesday 11th May 8 - 9 PM British Summer Time (BST)
Friday 14th May 2 - 3 PM British Summer Time (BST)
ZOOM Link - All Sessions
Meeting ID: 858 3501 1467
ReflectionS - FAQ
Are there any standard sizing you are setting for the artworks and the technical spec for the digital images?
ANSWER - The size doesn’t matter as long as you are aware that it will be shown on a 65” screen if we get into COP and hopefully at other venues if these can be negotiated, subject to COVID. The digital specifications are going to be added to the general material as a separate page.
Is work going to be for sale?
How can I label multiple plants on an image?
"I am currently working on a series of habitat paintings and plan to submit a Wildflower Meadow picture showing several species growing together. My question is about labelling. With more than a dozen different grasses and flowers portrayed in a tangled group it’s going to be difficult to label them individually without marking the painting with a ‘Key’ which I’m not keen to do (but will if I have to) I can list them but of course the list won’t indicate which name belongs to which plant."
I’m thinking of possibly illustrating an aspect of ancient woodland?
Can fungi form the main part of a picture?
Your story is exciting and we look forward to seeing your completed piece.
Can I submit an historic habitat (although not native) creating a healthy ecosystem?
My idea is to illustrate a fruit tree branch in flower/fruit with the addition of lichen, mistletoe and perhaps fungi which provide food for a variety of wildlife.
This managed environment enabled their growth and spread because the orchard has been managed for food. The natives should take centre stage whereas the fruit trees are the reason they have survived, they are also part of the story.
Can I illustrate Bushy Park as an ancient park dating back to Henry VIII?
"Hampton Court Palace is on the River Thames - Bushy Park is an ancient park dates back to Henry VIII time. Rivers running through it man made lakes and ponds. Trees planted very early Hawthorn ad Lime: rare plants like Mugwort, etc. Acid grassland with Ancient Ant hills"
Can I use Horse Chestnuts and lichens as my focus?
"I am starting work on some horse chestnut buds on twigs with lichen to add to a painting of an opening bud already completed. I see lichen as relevant to the exhibition as their sensitivity to air pollution means they make great air quality indicators. There are several types of lichen on the twigs I have collected so I need to identify their specifi c attributes in relation to pollution. My specimen comes from a road side tree but is also near farmland and a river. My main concern is the criteria of native plants. Horse chestnut trees are said to have been introduced from Turkey in the 16th century, originating from the Balkans. I don’t know if the tree I have taken specimens from is self-seeded or planted but I guess the origin of the species means they are non-native, so not meeting the exhibition entry criteria. Could you clarify that for me? If it is the case, I will rethink options but feel limited in choice."
Can I represent a plant that is in danger of extinction?
Is there an acceptable level / balance of painting from still life/live specimen vs. reference photos?
Using reference photographs: these should be your own but it is acceptable to check the botanical information etc using others work but not copy unless you have permission to use their images. The problem with not seeing the plant(s) is that you may not get a complete understanding of how it grows etc.
I would like some clarification on point 2 of your Specific Criterion?
Would a background be acceptable to indicate the habitat?
Would any marine plant be acceptable - like any type of Algae; Kelp (Brown Algae) or Seagrass?
Would it be acceptable to include an ocean Animal / Fish / Mollusk etc?
Should we be allowed to include this, I assume it should not be the main focus of the image - which should remain botanical, but it can maybe be brought in subtly to strengthen the story?"
Would it be acceptable to have to work mainly from a photo as reference?
"Would it be acceptable to have to work mainly from a Photo as reference to stay true to the plant form and colour under water or in the wild, to also protect the species. I have an underwater camera to be able to take my own reference photos with, so the work will still be my original IP."