April – May

Yanny Petters has been painting detailed portraits of wild plants since the 1990s. Her love and interest in botanical art stemmed from her work as a signwriter where plant themes were common in decorative design. Her paintings are in a number of important collections including the Dr. Shirley Sherwood Collection at Kew Gardens, London and the Office of Public Works, in Wicklow Mountains National Park and the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin. She was recently awarded a Merit by the Golden Fleece Award. She is a member of the Irish Society of Botanical Artists, the Water Colour Society of Ireland and the Dublin Painting & Sketching Club. Yanny is represented by the Olivier Cornet Gallery in Great Denmark Street, Dublin. www.oliviercornetgallery.com

In her exhibition at the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre artist Yanny Petters will present a series of monotype nature prints of the plants associated with that iconic element of the Irish countryside, the hedgerow.

The hedgerow goes back a long way in our history, dividing and yet holding together a rich habitat that remains after our forests were cleared. Land boundaries can be traced back to Neolithic times and the circa 12th Century Townland boundaries are the country’s longest standing land divisions.

At a time when farming practices are changing in scale many of these valuable habitats are being removed. While we might plant new hedges, it is the ancient ones which support up to 3000 organisms from flowers and trees, birds and animals to insects and microscopic creatures, without which our land would become desolate.

As we become more concerned about a changing climate we will look to hedgerows to serve as windbreaks, to shelter our livestock, reduce soil erosion, aid drainage and provide homes for beneficial predators who protect our food crops from pests. These harbours of biodiversity should be cherished for the health of our future generations.

In Yanny Petters work she raises awareness of our wild plants, opening our eyes to myriad of wonders in our local environment. It’s not just a bunch of weeds, but truly amazing and beautifully evolved species living in symbiotic harmony.