One of the most popular recent events for the Friends of TMAG took place on Thursday April 14 2016. Entitled Where Science Meets Art: The Botanical Illustrations of Rod Seppelt, members enjoyed a fascinating talk from Professor Rod Seppelt of the Tasmanian Herbarium, and a viewing of the current TMAG exhibition.
After the usual refreshments upon arrival, almost 80 members were welcomed to the event by John Sexton, Immediate Past President of the Friends, who then introduced our guest speaker. Professor Seppelt is one of Australia's most accomplished botanical illustrators and the exhibition presents a selection of his illustrations of bryophytes (mosses and liverworts). The Tasmanian Herbarium holds an important collection of over 35,000 botanical specimens collected from Antarctica and the subantarctic islands. Many were collected by Rod himself, who participated in numerous expeditions to both polar regions and conducted research in these areas.
Rod Seppelt's talk had two strands: firstly, he gave a brief but very entertaining survey of 4,000 years of botanical illustrations, beginning with the Sumerians and Egyptians, and then secondly he talked about his own career and how he had come to specialise in botanical illustration, particularly of mosses, liverworts and lichens.
Rod talked to us about the processes involved and the differences between botanical art (the portrait of a plant) and scientific illustration (which combines both the portrait with all the cell and anatomical detail).
This talk provided an excellent spring-board for members to then view the exhibition itself, and the success of this event can probably be best measured by the fact that many of our members found it difficult to pull themselves away from the exhibition when it came time to leave.
Our thanks go to Professor Seppelt for his generosity and enthusiasm in making this such a successful event.
For more photos taken at this event, browse the Photos section on our website. If you attended this event, chances are you will be in one of the pictures. Photography by Jack Robert-Tissot.