The exhibition ‘Botanical Portraits’ will display around 28 botanical paintings by Maltese artist Carmen Forder as well as wood-turned pieces by her husband, Ron Forder. They live in the UK but come to Malta frequently to visit family.
Carmen was interested in painting ever since she was a child and she also loved plants, especially those found in the Maltese countryside. But her love of botanical painting was kindled when she moved to Dorset and she attended an exhibition there. She soon started to take lessons and over the years she attended classes by various professional artists including Christina Hart-Davies and Simon Williams. Botanical painting deepened her love of plants and opened her eyes to their beauty, their infinite variety and amazing intricacies.
Carmen paints in watercolour, mainly on hot press paper which is very smooth and ideal for depicting detail; occasionally she paints on vellum. She always paints from live specimens, although she uses her own photos as reference, especially when a plant, or part of a plant, dies. At times, a painting may need to be carried forward to the next year in order to be able to observe it at different stages in its life cycle. Meticulous attention has to be paid to the form, the colour as well as the texture of the plant.
This exhibition will also showcase wood-turned pieces by her husband, Ron Forder. He works with various woods such as yew, oak and beech from the UK, olivewood and cypress grown in Malta and Greece, and some exotic hardwoods like ebony.
Although botanical painting and wood turning might, at first glance, seem like two quite distinct disciplines, the common linking thread is, of course, plants.
The exhibition is on the ground floor of the National Museum of Natural History in Mdina and is part of the museum experience (no extra charge involved). It will be open from Friday 17th March till Sunday 16th April.
Carmen Forder Botanical Portraits Exhibition
17 Mar 2023 - 16 Apr 2023
Tue to Sun: 09.00 am - 17.00 pm