Botanical Artists: Anna Atkins and Elizabeth Blackadder Influenced Responses


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As well as coming from an arty background, I also study biology and so wanted to incorporate science into my project. Atkins and Blackadder are examples of botanists who use art in order to convey their findings and to collate their work. Atkins was fascinated by botany and created cyanotypes of pressed plants in order to document her specimens. Blackadder on the other hand used traditional fine art practices such as sketching and painting to create biological, anatomical drawings of exotic plants in the Amazon Rainforest and was one of the first individuals to bring attention to the devastating effect of deforestation on this particular rainforest, particularly where flora and fauna are concerned.

Although I have taken inspiration from both artists in terms of a scientific perspective on plants, I have used Atkins cyanotype process as the medium for my initial responses. In order to respond the Blackadder’s work, I used acetate negatives of photographs that I had taken of flowers in order to articulate her precise, scientific style. I superimposed script text in order to name the plants using their binomial Latin name as well as the state they are in as both artists use this in their work

 

 

 

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