This weekend marks the end of my first exhibition at the Gateway Gallery of the RBGE. Many thanks to all at the Botanics, especially curator Kirsty White, who have made this show such a success. A big thank you too to Kate Eden for joining me in our talk on Victorian seaweed collectors on the 13 June, to BBC Radio Scotland’s Out of Doors programme for their support, and to all those who came along to see the show and wrote lovely comments in the guest book.
Many of the pressings both on paper and in acrylic are now for sale – if you are interested, please send me an email through the Contact page.
Located on the first floor of the John Hope Gateway centre of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the exhibition is free and open from 10am – 5:45pm daily, until 15th June 2014.
Gathered from the East Lothian coast between Gullane Bents and Tyninghame Beach, the sea flora pressings of Rhodophyta (reds), Chlorophyta (greens) and Phaeophyta (browns) are displayed primarily by colour along with some wonderful Victorian books on collecting seaweeds. The larger entrance display holds bolder specimens from wracks and kelps to edible laver and sea lettuce.
We had a great evening at the Sea Change event at the RBGE on Thursday night.
Preparing seaweed specimens
It was the first ‘Botanics Late’ venture, and was held in John Hope Gateway centre; a huge open space venue on two floors. The lower level housed a three different artist’s exhibitions, a sound stage with performances by poets, musicians and comedians, and a lecture theatre filled with microscopes and modelling clay where Professor Kate Darling gave an illustrated talk on the science of foraminifera and the movement of sand.
The upper level had several workshop areas; one for seaweed scrubs (by fellow Herbologist Jill Tees), Dr Greg Kenicer offered up seaweed products including a delicious agar panacotta, and Dr Elspeth Haston showed off specimens from the Herbarium collections. Stargazers sprawled across the big deck, sheltering under the eaves, and the bar was in full swing.
Seaweed pressings at the Sea Change event
I held my seaweed pressing workshop in the large space at the back and was flooded with curious and eager participants. Some had experience of flower pressing from their childhood, but all were new to pressing seaweeds.
The enthusiasm was overwhelming and we went through every bit of art paper, blotting paper, cardboard, muslin, and newspaper by then end of the evening! I hope the tightly wrapped specimens made it to their respective airing cupboards later on and that the evening sparked a love of the beauty of seaweeds.
On Thurs, 7th Nov, the RBGE will be hosting their first ‘Late Event’ to preview the Sea Change exhibition. The evening will bring together artists, scientists and environmentalists who have been exploring the effect of climate change on the sea as part of a four-year Cape Farewell project funded by Creative Scotland, Arts Council England and others.
The event is taking place in the John Hope Gateway Centre and will include live music, film, poetry, printmaking, food and drink celebrating work resulting from voyages around the Western and Northern Isle. As part of the evening, I will be giving workshops in pressing seaweeds.
The evening kicks off at 7pm and goes on to 10pm. Tickets are £10 each and it is an adult only event.