Trees, Artists' Views : Capturing the Essence of the Geelong Botanic Gardens
Produced by renowned Botanical Artist Dolores Skowronski-Malloni in collaboration with Raelene Marshall, the forty-eight page hard cover limited edition has been published to promote the histories and botanical qualities of the unique and varied species of trees within the Geelong Botanic Gardens.
The book contains full colour plates of work produced over a period of two years by the tutors and artists from the Geelong School of Botanical Art (managed by the Friends) with the histories and descriptions of significant trees and finely illustrated details of the barks, flowers, fruits, seeds and leaves.
In 1851 a site of 200 acres was reserved for the Geelong Botanic Gardens on the Eastern Hill overlooking Limeburners Point. The Gardens developed quickly in the 1850s. The site was fenced, a curator’s cottage was built, carriage drives were surveyed and most importantly, a nursery was established to receive donations of plants and seeds.
In 1857 Daniel Bunce was appointed as the first curator to the Gardens. He laid-out the ornamental walks and carriageways over the undulating landscape. The nursery filled with rare exotic and indigenous plants and a system of plant exchange was established with gardens around the world. Bunce’s catalogue ‘Plants in Cultivation in the Geelong Botanic Gardens’ (1860) is a list of the Gardens’ extensive plant collection. Perhaps the most notable among them is the Ginkgo biloba.
In 1995 a Master Plan defined a new vision for the Geelong Botanic Gardens and Eastern Park beyond 2001; it acknowledged the work of early curators and provided a guide to the Gardens rejuvenation and enhancement. In 2001 the Geelong Botanic Gardens celebrated its 150th anniversary.
The development of the 21st Century Garden in 2002 completed stage 1, connecting the Gardens with the waterfront and heralding a return to the position of prominence the Gardens enjoyed in the late 19th and early 20th Century.
The Geelong School of Botanical Art is situated within the Geelong Botanic Gardens. A wide range of classes and workshops are held that aim to teach the art of illustration and interpretation to students at different levels of skills.
The Tree Project commenced in July 2014. At that time, students embarked on a path to record some of the magnificent trees that form the backbone of this unique garden. Each artist selected a tree of their interest to render in a monotone technique that eventually formed a collection of well-observed tree studies.
This technique was soon followed by the design of full colour plates that featured details such as barks, flowers, fruits, leaves and seeds. The tree theme then extended the boundaries further and students eventually ventured into Linocut and Scratched-board techniques.
The artist’s inspiration has no limits and the result of the project culminated in the production of the Trees book.
The photographed images are now a digital archive for the Geelong Botanic Gardens and the Friends of the Geelong Botanic Gardens as a record of the artists’ views.
Contact the Friends' Office for further details: