The Royal Horticultural Society will display Susan Tomlinson’s illustrations of cotton during the annual Botanical Art and Photography Show this month.
Susan Tomlinson, an associate professor of interdisciplinary studies in nature and the arts in Texas Tech University's Honors College, has been selected to showcase her botanical illustrations at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Botanical Art and Photography Show in London this month. The show runs from Friday (April 9) through April 29.
The RHS Annual Botanical Art and Photography Show is considered the top botanical art exhibit in the world, Tomlinson said.
“In order to exhibit, the artist must submit a portfolio to a selection committee to demonstrate a level of expertise,” she explained. “Once approved by the committee, the artist then has up to five years to create a series of six related paintings to exhibit. These are judged by experts in the field just before the exhibit opens to the public, and various medals are awarded to deserving works.
“To earn a gold medal in the RHS exhibit is considered one of the highest honors in the botanical art world. I don't hope to win a medal, but I am honored to exhibit my paintings in such a historic and storied venue, alongside some of the very best artists in the field.”
Tomlinson's paintings are part of a series of botanical art she is creating for a book showcasing the diversity of the cotton genus, Gossypium.
“I have really enjoyed painting the cotton bolls because of the tension between the softness of the lint and the prickliness of the dried bracts surrounding it,” she said. “Cotton is a major part of the Southern High Plains agricultural economy for a reason – it takes a special kind of plant to thrive in this landscape. In the paintings, I tried to show a sense of place by depicting some of the toughness, grit and unexpected beauty that is characteristic of the genus.”
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society, the world's leading gardening charity, was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to enrich lives through plants and make the United Kingdom a greener and more beautiful place. This aspiration underpins all the RHS does, from hosting inspirational gardens and shows, to conducting scientific research, to offering educational and community programs. The RHS produces many key publications and holds a world-class collection of horticultural books and botanical art.