In the studio -  2017

I observe the subject matter in the tranquility of the moment. For example, I touch a petal or a mountain with my awareness, whilst maintaining acknowledgement and respect for their status. If the petal or the mountain touches me back, we meet in an evolving mental space that allows the work to take place. The intention that drives the methodology, and the criteria for the work, is therefore unusual and time specific. As the intense and intricate artworks are brought into matter, they act as a visual interpretation of ongoing conscious moments.

Born in London in 1955, Coral Guest's creative education is rooted in abstraction, colour theory, and the traditional practice of observational drawing. In the 1970's she studied perspective formulas and figure drawing at Harrow School of Art, before training in Fine Art and Art History in the Painting Department at Chelsea College of Art and Design at London University. She was awarded the Chelsea Drawing Scholarship in her first year and the Chelsea Travel Scholarship in her final year. Thereafter, she trained in the practice of large brush calligraphic painting and meditation at Seitai-ji Soto Zen Temple in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, remaining in seculsion for one year.  

In 1991, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew took the unprecedented step of inviting her to work as Flower Painting Tutor at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, where she taught until 2002, paving the way for new naturalistic techniques and specialising in large format flower paintings and unexplored working methods. Thus she earned her reputation as an artistic innovator within the cloistered arena of horticulture by adapting 18th century purist methods of landscape painting to the study of flora.

The most recent ten years of her drawing practice have seen Guest representing the Icelandic mineral kingdom through its process of evolution, in parallel with flower growing and installation work in her garden in central England.

1979-80    Large Brush Calligraphy Seitai-ji Temple, Ueno Hara, Yamanashi, Japan
1974-7        BA Fine Art (Painting) Chelsea College of Art and Design London
1972-4        Foundation Diploma Harrow College of Art and Design London

1988            Gold Medal RHS London
1986            Gold medal RHS London
1977             Travel Scholarship Chelsea College of Art and Design London
1975             Drawing Scholarship Chelsea College of Art and Design London

Selected Solo exhibitions
2009 - 17  Installation Projects - Artists Garden
1990             H V Allinson Gallery New York
1986             Oliver Swann Gallery London
1988             Oliver Swann Gallery London

Selected Group Exhibitions
2017             SKETCH 2017 OPEN DRAWING PRIZE - Rabley Drawing Centre Wiltshire
2017             British Artists - Sherwood Gallery Kew
2016             Collector’s Collection - Strawberry Hill House London
2015             Masterworks - Jonathan Cooper Gallery Chelsea London
2014             Botanical Art for 21st Century - Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
2013             Botanical Art into the Third Millennium - Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
2010            The Art of Evolution - Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
2010            Gallery Artists Tryon and Swan Gallery London      
2010            The Mutis Collection - Sherwood Gallery Kew
2008           1,000 years of Plant Drawings Ashmolean Museum Oxford
2006           Masterworks - Seiji Togo museum Tokyo
2005           Treasures of the RHS - Ueno Museum Tokyo
2004            Photosynthesis - Exeter Museum
2001             Drawings from the Sherwood Collection - Marciana Library Venice
1998             Contemporary Masterworks - Yasuda Kasai Gallery Tokyo
1997              Contemporary Masterworks - Scottish National Gallery Edinburgh
1995              Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition - Mall Galleries London
1985              The Hunt Institute Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh
1978              Young Contemporaries Acme Gallery London