This small display of gouaches and sketchbooks by the outstanding botanical artist Margaret Mee (1909-1988), was proposed and selected by Bill Woodrow as a counterpart to his exhibition of drawings. This will be the first time the sketchbooks have ever been exhibited.
Margaret Mee studied at Camberwell School of Art in the late 1940s under Victor Pasmore. She moved to Brazil in 1952 and between 1956 and 1988 made fifteen and often arduous journeys into Amazon region, recording the disappearing flora of the rainforests.
Woodrow’s interest in Mee’s work developed partly through his interest in ecology and visits to the Amazon region, and this progressed into an admiration for the quality of her drawing, use of colour and rigorous aesthetic. He has chosen to show examples of her work where the processes of observation and information-gathering are apparent, rather then her more ‘finished’ paintings. It is in these processes that he sees a link with his own drawing, although the motivations and end results are quite different. He is also interested in the lasting validity of Mee’s work in an age when drawing as a means of recording the observed world has supposedly been superseded by photography and new technologies.
Margaret Mee’s work has been kindly loaned by the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Admission free.