This small display of gouaches and sketchbooks by the outstanding botanical artist Margaret Mee (1909-1988), was proposed and selected by Bill Woodrow as a counterpart to his exhibition of drawings.
This was the first time the sketchbooks had ever been exhibited.
Woodrow’s interest in Mee’s work developed partly through his interest in ecology and visits to the Amazon region, and this progressed into an admiration for the quality of her drawing, use of colour and rigorous aesthetic. He chose to show examples of her work where the processes of observation and information-gathering are apparent, rather then her more ‘finished’ paintings. It is in these processes that he saw a link with his own drawing, although the motivations and end results are quite different. He was also interested in the lasting validity of Mee’s work in an age when drawing as a means of recording the observed world has supposedly been superseded by photography and new technologies.