RBGE alumni and botanical artist, Marianne Hazlewood has new work on show at the Open Eye Gallery in May. This work has roots in a few areas, emergent growth, pattern, and plant architecture.  She has been focussing on the genus Arisaema for several years. 

MHazlewood Arisaema griffithii triptych 42x30cm
Arisaema griffithii triptych

She grows them and is drawn to the period of early growth when they first emerge, and, later, to their amazing patterned spathes. There is so much packaged into the shoots when they first break through the earth; as they grow, the outer cataphylls draw back to reveal tightly packed structures. Each species has a different botanical architecture, and the flowers, some with striped or chequered spathes, and varying lengths and forms of spadix, are stunning.

MHazlewood Arisaema tortuosum Verdant I 70x50cm
Arisaema tortuosum Verdant

Her work focuses on these aspects and is inspired by the plant photography of Karl Blossfeldt in the early 1900s. Marianne loves the way Bossfeldt exploited symmetry, recurring structure, and ‘natural design’, and she has been exploring this in the plants that she grows, capturing their own natural design in pen and ink illustrations. While her plants are growing, she turns them, to investigate from all sides. She is fascinated with the silhouettes they form, their architecture, and patina. She tells part of their story, and hers through these pieces.  

The exhibition will run May 3 – 25 2024 at the Open Eye Gallery, 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE. OPENING HOURS – Tuesday to Friday 11am to 5pm, Sat 11am to 4pm.