Bryan Poole, Lancewood, 1998, hand-coloured etching,
Gifted by Ralph Hotere 2002
New Zealand Native Botanicals
3 June - 30 July 2023
Born in Invercargill, Bryan Poole (1953 to 2022) was a botanical and natural history artist based in the United Kingdom from the early 1980s. There he worked for a variety of clients in this specialist area including The British Homeopathic Journal, The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), The Natural History Museum and the McMillan Press Publications for the Royal Horticultural Society. Poole's formal training as a botanical artist stemmed from his association with The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. His prints are true to the 17th century intaglio etching technique, whilst simultaneously encompassing a contemporary graphic feel.
Poole's set of 10 hand-coloured aquatint etchings were gifted to the gallery by Ralph Hotere in 2002. The series conveys a careful selection of plants and taxonomic accuracy from the wide habitat range and enormously varied flora of New Zealand. The vary from delicate kowhai clusters, to the drooping pigkeonwood fruit, to the structural mass of the cabbage tree flower-head. The artist collected these native plants in the field, making drawings and watercolour sketches of the more perishable features. Augmenting the exhibition are a selection of botanical works by Jo Ogier, Marie Turnbull and Lynn Callaghan.
Organised to celebrate the centenary of the Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture, this exhibition has been generously supported by the Deane Endowment Trust.