A collection of images by Dr Sam Vale depicting the intricate and unique details of white cherry blossom flowers has won a silver medal at the 2020 and 2021 RHS Botanical Art and photography Show, in partnership with the Saatchi Gallery.
A Typology of British Cherry Blossom was selected to be part of the exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, which is running parallel to this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The exhibition features an array of intricate and scientifically accurate botanical illustrations and photographs by 34 global artists in celebration of these technical art forms.
Dr Vale, Senior Lecturer and Programme Director for Photography, said: “I am delighted to have A Typology of British Cherry Blossom selected and exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery as part of the 2020 and 2021 RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show, amongst the most talented artists and photographers. The level of excellence for the award is a real mark of achievement and I am thrilled to have my work shown alongside so many great and inspiring artists.”
In 2019 Dr Vale produced a complete collection of images of all 232 UK varieties of white cherry flowers, the first time such a comprehensive record of this cherry blossom had been produced.
Complete and comprehensive records of cherry blossom have historically been difficult to reproduce in image form as the delicate flowers are considered too uniform for traditional illustration to capture the slight differences between varieties. Using photography Dr Vale was able to accurately record and showcase the flowers’ subtle yet distinct differences.
Dr Vale’s collection of images has been produced into a book, A Typology of British Cherry Blossom: Containing Coloured Images of the Most Esteemed National Fruit Collection at Brogdale" and has successfully filled a void in the history and study of the UK white cherry blossom.
Sam was granted access to the National Fruit Collection, at Brogdale in Kent, to complete his study. Kent has a long association with cherries. The cultivation of the county’s famous cherry orchards under the orders of Henry VIII, along with other fruit, was the reason why the county became known as The Garden of England.
The RHS Botanical Art and and Photography Show will run at the Saatchi Gallery until 3rd October.
Sam’s book, A Typology of British Cherry Blossom: Containing Coloured Images of the Most Esteemed National Fruit Collection at Brogdale is published by GOST. Each book includes a unique pressed, dried cherry blossom petal.