The Plant Hunter’s Bounty

Floral watercolour paintings by Bev Doohan

Date: Nov 1 – Nov 30Space: Foyer

As a floral designer Bev Doohan has always been intrigued by the origins of the flowers and foliage used in our designs and arrangements, both traditional and contemporary. This pathway lead her to the plant hunters.

The plant hunters were exceptional men who dedicated their lives to increasing the understanding of botany and horticulture. Between them they collected tens of thousands of new species. Their heroic efforts during the 17th 18th and early 19th centuries determined the course of garden design and the way we decorate our homes. From John Tradescant the Elder in the 16th Century to Sir Joseph Banks on Cook’s expeditions they enchanted the world with their vibrant and exotic finds. On the great estates, the walled gardens, greenhouses and hot houses were busting with colour, unusual shapes and flavours. The result of all this gardening was then transferred into the interiors of the houses and castles of the rich, the famous and royalty. Massed in beautiful containers and vases without concern for design but only display, they glowed in dimly lit rooms and confirmed your place, wealth and status to the world.  Each piece of plant material was placed to enhance its own form and colour which leads so an exciting but somewhat untidy display.  The hybrids the modern world has produced from these finds is our contribution to plant hunting.

Bev’s beautiful watercolour paintings will be on display in the CAN foyer for the month of November.

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