I got a gold at RHS!  – The RHS London Art and Photography Show – We went down to London with slight trepidation about the heat, with our summer clothes (we don’t have too many of those…) and we were right to be nervous, it was extremely hot, I believe it was at 38.5 degrees Celsius while we were in  Lindley Hall on Thursday 25th. I didn’t venture out much that day apart from nipping back to my hotel and it was baking hot, rather like standing in the airflow of an hot air dryer!

We got the sleeper down on Sunday night and set up Monday morning, Alex and I had previously put the show up in Edinburgh so we felt fairly confident, this time we had level boards so were able to use a plumb line, levels and various spacers and it went up quite fast with industrial strength Velcro (holds 7kg per 1m). 

It was lovely seeing the blank stands slowly fill and know that you could spend the next couple of days taking everything in.

Alex and I went off to see the Stanley Kubrick exhibition at the Design Museum, a really extensive and interesting show, and also a cool building (literally their AC is top notch) I recommend it! I think I was in there for about 5 hours! Happy day!

Some photos…

I was really happy with the labels incorporating the tuber illustrations, printed on lovely watercolour type paper (to match the paintings) by James Potter. Its tricky in the approach to an event to know whether your design ideas will work.

We added greetings cards and business cards to the stand after judging, just before the late opening, my new card holders looked great, thanks to 3D Displays, and then we were open for business!

We got visits from one of the judges on Wednesday morning and got some feedback about our display, it was really interesting to hear their thoughts and store that info away to ponder on going forwards. 

It was lovely to meet so many folk interested and enthusiastic about botany or painting or both and to catch up with old and new friends. I really enjoyed meeting my fellow exhibitors, we all had stories behind our work and about getting to the show and there was a great sense of camaraderie around the hall, especially being in London during the heatwave… I have a new found respect for Londoners and their relaxed attitudes to temperatures that made me just want to run away!!! Some lovely exhibitors brought in ice which they shared around and the RHS brought in more fans on the Thursday which was very welcome, thank you guys! 

I’d recommend having a read of The Botanical Art and Artists Blog to see all of the other exhibits, Katherine Tyrrell provides excellent coverage of the event there. There were some really fabulous shows, amongst my favourites were Naomi Gumma with The Lifecycle of the Shimonita Welsh Onion, Louise Lane with The Life of a Leaf, Aesculus hippocastanum and Emilija Petrauskiene with Silver Garden Stories.

The take down and the rest of Thursday were slightly surreal, I think in the main because of the heat, but also its always strange dismantling something you have put so much effort into and saying goodbye as you dash out the door! It happens so fast but you have to be as organised as during the set up if you are travelling! I whiled away some time at my hotel and then headed back through London to get the sleeper home.

And again thank you to – Alex Hazlewood (xxx), Donald and Elspeth Third, Arisaema specialists Alan Elliot and Jin Murata for answering my questions, Greg Kenicer & Jacqui Pestel for so much valued support, Jason Russell for helping me with my plant choice. Jacques Armand, RBGE and Pitcairn Alpines for provision of some amazing Arisaema bulbs and specimens and everyone else who ever unwittingly asked about my process or bought a card, print or painting – you are very much appreciated!