In the studio -  2018

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.


BACKGROUND
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.

 

CORAL G GUEST

b. 1955 London


Education
                       
1978-9    
Calligraphy Seitai-ji Yamanashi Prefecture Japan

1974-7    
BA Fine Art Chelsea College of Art & Design London

1972-4    
Foundation Diploma Harrow College of Art London                                               

Awards

1986   
Royal Horticultural Society Gold Medal

1984   
Royal Horticultural Society Gold Medal

1977  
Chelsea College of Art Travel Scholarship

1974  
Chelsea College of Art Drawing Scholarship

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017    
Sketch 0pen, Rabley Drawing Centre Wiltshire  
British Artists, Shirley Sherwood Gallery RBG Kew
        
2016
A Collector’s Collection by Dr Shirley Sherwood, Strawberry Hill House Twickenham        
Works from the Shirley Sherwood Collection Singapore Botanic Gardens

2014
Botanical Art in the 21st Century, Shirley Sherwood Gallery RBG Kew

2013-14
Botanical Art into the Third Millennium, Museo Della Graphica Pisa Italy

2013
The Legacy of Rory McEwen, Sherwood Gallery, RBG Kew      Hidden Treasure, Sherwood Gallery RBG Kew
 
2010-11
Gallery Artists, Tryon Gallery London

2010    
Mutis Collection, Sherwood Gallery RBG Kew

2009-10          
The Art of Plant Evolution, Sherwood Gallery RBG Kew

2009
Jubilee Exhibition, Tryon Gallery London

2008          
Treasures of Botanical Art, Sherwood Gallery Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

2006
The Shirley Sherwood Collection, Seiji Togo Museum of Art Japan

2005
Treasures from the Royal Horticultural Society, Ueno Museum Tokyo
1000 years of Botanical Art, Ashmolean Museum Oxford

2004          
Photosynthesis, Royal Albert Museum Exeter

2003          
A Passion for Plants, Smithsonian Museum Washington USA

2002          
A Passion for Plants, Denver Botanic Garden Colorado USA

2001          
Marciana Library, Venice Italy
Botanical Artists of the World II, Tryon Gallery London

1999
Gallery Artists, Tryon Gallery London

1998
Botanical Artists of the World I, Tryon Gallery London           
Works from the Shirley Sherwood Collection, Yasuda Kasai Gallery Tokyo Japan          
Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens, Cape Town South Africa

1997          
Art from the Shirley Sherwood Collection, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

1996                      
Botanical Artists, Kew Gardens Gallery RBG Kew

1996                   
Artist’s Prints, Sloane Graphics London

1995                  
Sunday Times Watercolour Competition Mall Galleries London

1994                     
Nature's Harvest, Kew Gallery RBG Kew

1991
Orchid Paintings, The Hunt Botanical Institute Pittsburgh USA

1990                    
Creation Festival, Nature in Art Gallery Gloucestershire

1986                 
Botanical Art, Royal Horticultural Society London

1986                   
Plant Drawings, Sothebys London

1985
Society for Wildlife Art Inaugural Exhibition, Guild Hall London

1985                   
6th Int. Exhibition of Botanical Art, Hunt Botanical Institute Pittsburgh USA

1984                         
Botanical Art, Royal Horticultural Society London

1978           
Young Contemporaries, Acme Gallery London

 

Selected solo exhibitions 

2006-14      
Phenological Study Work, artists studio and garden
 
1993      
Study Works, The Pump House Battersea Park London

1990      
HV Allinson Gallery New York

1986/8      
Oliver Swann Gallery London

 

Lectures and master classes

2002    
Master Class 5 Day for Dr Shirley Sherwood, Keswick Hall Charlottesville USA

1999    
Master Class 5 Day for Dr Shirley Sherwood, Cipriani Hotel Venice Italy

1999    
Lecture Fruit Painters of 18th Century Europe, Cipriani Hotel Venice Italy

1999-02    
Sketching in the Field Summertime Classes, RBG Kew

1998    Master Class 5 Day for Dr Shirley Sherwood, Cipriani Hotel Venice Italy

1997    
Master Class 5 Day for Dr Shirley Sherwood, Reid’s Hotel Madeira

1994    
Masterclass at Monet’s Garden, Giverny France, for The Artist magazine

1994    
Contemporary Flower Painting Lecture, for The American Horticultural Society

1994    
Colour Theory and Abstraction in Painting, 3-day class for NIA Gallery Gloucestershire

1991-2002    
4 Day Workshop Painting Flowers in Watercolour RBG Kew

 

Online Interviews

2017           
Botanical Art - An Interview with the Plantcurator.com  

2012            
The Renaissance of Botanical Art - An interview with Artplantaetoday.com

 

Television

2004           
BBC4 Wales Painting Flowers Series, with Monty Don directed by Ceri Sherlock

1997
BBC1 Out and About Series on location at RBG Kew

 

Books Published and Selected Writings

2001
Painting Flowers in Watercolour - A Naturalistic Approach
by Coral G Guest in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Published by A&C Black (hardback UK)
Timber Press (softback USA)

2000          
January Article - The Golden Section the Artist Magazine
 


Works Published and/or Mentioned In

2017  
SKETCH Drawing Prize Exhibition Catalogue Rabley Drawing Centre

2013  
Botanical Art in the 21st Century by Shirley Sherwood, RBG Kew

2013  
Botanical Art into the Third  Millennium by Shirley Sherwood & Lucia Tongiorgi, ETZ
             
2013  
Rory McEwen - The colours of reality by Martin Rix, RBG, Kew

2011  
A Tulip Anthology by Ron Van Dongen, PQ Blackwell, 

2009  
The Art of Plant Evolution by WJ Kress & Shirley Sherwood, RBG, Kew

2008  
Treasures of Botanical Art by Shirley Sherwood and Brian Rix, RGB Kew
              
2006  
Artists in Britain since 1945 by John Buckman, Art Dictionaries Ltd

2005  
A New Flowering by Shirley Sherwood, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

2002  
A Passion for Plants by Shirley Sherwood, Weidenfeld & Nicolson

1997  
Contemporary Botanical Artists by Shirley Sherwood, Cassell & Co
 

Commentary

2004
Tate Modern – Commentary on Monet’s Water Lilies
for the Audio Guide to the Monet display, on the 3rd floor

 

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