Watch: The art of botanical illustration

The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney is home to a fascinating array of significant Australian native and exotic species. One of the most iconic and recognisable is the towering Norfolk Island pine. 

The Garden’s first Norfolk Island pine, known as the Wishing Tree, was planted at the request of Mrs Macquarie, wife of Governor Macquarie, in 1818. Following the species' introduction during the earliest days of the colony, it has since become a living staple of Sydney’s skyline. 

Join botanical artist Angela Lober as she skilfully captures this landmark tree on paper with a keen eye for detail and a steady hand.

I've enjoyed the challenge of painting the Norfolk Island pine. It's been labour intensive... but I think, I hope, that I have captured the personality of my specimen. They do come across as really strong, dominating, loud, gregarious sort of plants. I'm quite fond of him now.

Angela Lober, 2015

Filmed for Florilegium: Sydney’s Painted Garden, on show at the Museum of Sydney from 30 July 2016 – 30 October 2016.

Visit the exhibition to see Angela’s artwork up close, along with more than 80 botanical paintings from the Royal Botanic Garden’s Florilegium collection.

Botanical painting of Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk Island pine) by Angela Lober, 2015.

Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk Island pine) by Angela Lober, 2015. © Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust

About the Author

Photograph of a person peeling corn
Amelia Lindsay
Assistant Curator
Amelia Lindsay is an assistant curator with SLM's Curatorial & Exhibitions team. Growing up just moments away from historical...

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