Artwork is Copyrighted by the Artists
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Postings are excerpts from the exhibition catalog edited by Carol Woodin

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Longolongo, Gouache by Rita Parkinson, Australia

Cycas seemannii

Listing: CITES Appendix II

The Plant’s Story

Cycads are found throughout tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world and can thrive in harsh conditions, from high elevations, windy and cold paramo in South America to beach dunes and island limestone terraces, as with this Cyas seemanni, in the South Pacific islands. Of the 300 or so species found around the world, about half are considered at risk. In North America, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida, maintains a large collection of cycads for research, exhibition, and conservation, linked with conservationists and institutions around the world.

The Artist’s Story: Rita Parkinson

Fiji has been a holiday destination for my family for more than 20 years. I saw the Cycas seemannii of my illustration in a coastal area near Sigatoka on Viti Levu Island. The flora is diverse and what interests me is that much of it has not been illustrated in detail before. I will first and foremost do detailed drawings, and make a photo essay that includes habitat, close ups, details and mid-views. Then, I will begin the process with many roughs using all these sources as reference.

More of the plant’s story and the artist’s story can be found in the exhibit catalog, available at the exhibition venues or online from the ASBA.