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Margaret Flockton Botanical Award Exhibition

Home > Sydney > Art | Escape the City | Exhibitions | National Parks | Parks
by Phoebe Hackett (subscribe)
Choose the world you see - J.L.Huie
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You'll take a lichen to this exhibition
margaret flockton award, sydney
First prize - 2017 Winner of the Margaret Flockton Award, Calamus sp. nov. Pintaudi by Lucy Smith


The Margaret Flockton Award commemorates the remarkable contribution Margaret Flockton made to Australian scientific botanical illustration. Margaret Lillian Flockton (1861-1953) was the first botanical illustrator at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. A prodigious botanical artist who dedicated her life to her art and because of her dedication to her craft, never married.

She trained in London and emigrated to Sydney in 1881 at age 21 and began teaching art, joined the Royal Art Society and opened a studio in Sydney's Castlereagh Street and exhibited her work. Between the ages of 40 to 67, she created exceptional botanical drawings, using a camera lucida. (The camera lucida performs an optical superimposition of the subject being viewed upon the surface upon which the artist is drawing) Flockton was also Australia's first female lithographer. She published various books on her own, such as a small volume "Lichens", "Australian Wildflowers" (1908), and illustrated them with her coloured lithographs.

The Director of the Botanic Gardens, J. H Maiden, was overawed by the standard of her work, considering her "The most accomplished botanical artist in New South Wales". He also remarked that she had "Beautiful and artistic skills" Her work has been described by those in the field as a perfectionist, whose work was exquisite and enchanting.

margaret flockton award, sydney
Margaret Flockton


Over 1000 of her illustrations are held in The Botanic Gardens Trust Archive.

The Margaret Flockton Award is unique. It focuses entirely on contemporary scientific botanical illustration, as distinct from botanical art. First prize is $5000, second prize is $2000 and there are also 3 Highly Commended awards given.

margaret flockton award, botanical garden, sydney, art
First prize - 2016 Winner of the Margaret Flockton Award, Pellaea falcata P. nana by Pauline Dewar


Illustrators the world over submit scientifically accurate drawings that go along with the published taxonomic description of the plant, highlighting individual features of the species. The illustrations are highly precise black and white drawings usually undertaken in pen and ink, pencil or digitally rendered.

The Maple Brown Family and the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens sponsor this annual, international award for excellence in scientific botanical illustration.

This year's winner was Lucy Smith, from Kew, United Kingdom. This was her second win, having first won it in 2014.

The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan showcases Australian flora amongst rolling hills and lakes. It is the largest botanic garden in Australia. It is 57 km from the Sydney CBD and about a 45-minute drive from the city. If travelling by train, travel from Central Railway Station to Campbelltown Railway Station, then buses run between Campbelltown railway station and Camden via Mount Annan.

botanic gardens mount annan, lawn, gardens, nature
The Marquee Lawn Australian Botanic Gardens Mount Annan


Before you make the trip to see this exhibition at the Botanical Gardens, look into their many other events that are held throughout the season, like Bird Watchers Breakfasts, Garden Monsters, Picnic shelter hire, guided walks, drawing classes, ghost nights in the garden, kids activities and much more. Check the events out here.

A lovely day out for the whole family. Soak in beautiful Australian illustrations surrounded by national park that boasts a showcase of over 2000 species of Australian native plants.
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Why? See botanical illustration at its best
When: Until Sunday 12 November 2017, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Phone: (02) 4634 7935
Where: Australian PlantBank, Narellan Road Mount Annan NSW 2567
Cost: Free entry & free parking onsite
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