an ongoing series of botanical artworks by Amy Shelton.
In Medieval Latin, a ‘florilegium’ describes a collection of written extracts gathered together like a bouquet. The word is formed from the Latin flos (flower) and legere (to gather) – literally ‘a gathering of flowers’.
Created from the meticulous gathering, identifying, preserving and cataloguing herbarium samples across the seasons, these collections of pressed flowers, leaves and vascular plant samples form the rich palette from which Amy Shelton creates illuminated lightbox artworks, each encapsulating and enshrining specific ecosystems and biodiverse habitats.
Each artwork in this series is an illuminated map bringing environmental and human stories to light.
The first artworks were created in tandem with urgent emerging scientific research carried out by a network of world-class multidisciplinary research teams (The Insect Pollinators Initiative launched in 2009). Shelton traced the scientific study by collecting plant samples that were being quantified by scientists for their benefit to pollinators. From this collection she created the Honey Flow Quadriptych which offers a bees-eye view of UK flora.
The Honey Flow works (Princesshay & Quadriptych) document the rich and complex narrative of plant systems, revealing their seasonal cadence and ephemerality, their interconnected relationship with pollinating insects and with human life.
Others in the Florilegium series have been created with local communities - schools, healthcare workers, elders - inviting personal stories into each work. Current works include collaborations with school pupils in Exeter, patients and staff at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and patients and staff at Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.
Shelton also creates Florilegium lightboxes as private commissions, documenting specific local environments.
As we become ever more aware of the importance of connecting with nature, these botanical artworks offer a powerful reminder of our delicate symbiotic relationship with the natural world.
Cynefin private commission (2020)
Anthology Moretonhampstead Herbarium (2019)
Princesshay Honey Flow Princesshay (2016)
Honey Flow Quadriptych Wellcome Collection, London (2014)
These works have been exhibited in galleries, museums, hospitals and other public spaces across the UK and abroad.
If you are interested in a public or private commission please contact us.