A solo exhibition of contemporary botanical drawings held at Hughes Gallery, Fullarton Park Community Centre, Fullarton, SA, from 4 – 27 August, 2023 as part of the annual SALA Festival. Twenty-seven of my drawings adorned the walls of the beautifully restored gallery space.

This exhibition was generously supported by the City of Unley, in recognition of my selection as a finalist in the 2022 SALA City of Unley Active Ageing Award.

inflorescent, adj. flowering or blossoming

Flowering plants have been highly valued and sought after by humans for thousands of years, the flowers themselves holding emotional or ceremonial significance in many cultures. Cultivation and selective breeding has exaggerated floral features such as petal number, size and colour, sometimes also affecting fragrance, feeding into a lucrative market for garden plants and cut flowers. 

As well as popular exotics, many native plants have been cultivated successfully to produce a wide variety of attractive flowering hybrids well suited to local conditions. But some Australian natives are very difficult to cultivate. They are becoming increasingly rare in the wild and are highly protected. One such group, terrestrial orchids, can be particularly difficult to find in the bush due to their small size and restricted ranges. Their fascinating flowers offer many lessons in natural selection according to habitat or insect pollinators, but environmental degradation poses a significant threat to their survival.

My drawings highlight the amazing variety in flowering forms of exotic and native cultivars, both in full bloom and in decline, as well as South Australian natives in their natural surroundings. They are rendered larger than life size with multiple layers of artist quality coloured pencil to reveal floral details that often are not seen. Hopefully they will help to inspire conservation of plant biodiversity in remnant native bush and urban infill alike.

Judy Morris, 2023