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Rachel Pedder-Smith

PhD Work

My work comprises illustrating dried, pressed plant specimens from the collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in unique and striking compositions.


For my PhD I created one large watercolour painting, Herbarium Specimen Painting, which is over five metres long and took 766 days to complete. This project brings together art and science, with the painting depicting one specimen to represent each flowering plant family painted in the order of a contemporary DNA-based classification system. My thesis examines how material culture theory can be applied to natural history specimens and compares other art projects produced from institutional collections.


Info

  • PhD

    School

    School of Communication

    Programme

    Visual Communication, 2008–2011

  • My work comprises illustrating dried, pressed plant specimens from the collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in unique and striking compositions.


    For my PhD I created one large watercolour painting, Herbarium Specimen Painting, which is over five metres long and took 766 days to complete. This project brings together art and science, with the painting depicting one specimen to represent each flowering plant family painted in the order of a contemporary DNA-based classification system. My thesis examines how material culture theory can be applied to natural history specimens and compares other art projects produced from institutional collections.


  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons), Graphic Arts and Design, Leeds Metropolitan University, 1998
  • Exhibitions

  • Watercolour , Tate Britain, London, 2011; From Hand to Eye, Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, Kew Gardens, London, 2011; Curiosities , Jonathan Cooper Gallery, London, 2005; Botanicals: Environmental Expressions in Art, Alisa and Isaac Sutton Collection, Hunt Institute, Pittsburgh, USA, 2009-10