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Star of Eden’s new floral art show is scent from the past

A new Eden Project art exhibition showcasing spectacular plant life will allow visitors to enjoy the scent of an extinct Hawaiian flower which disappeared a century ago.

Resurrecting the Sublime

Resurrecting the Sublime

Star of Eden’s new floral art show is scent from the past

Radical Botany, which opens on February 15,  will show the works of contemporary artists alongside paintings by the Eden Project Florilegium Society.

The show invites people to contemplate and reflect on the amazing world of plants, people’s relationship with them and their effect on wider human experience.

The artwork Resurrecting the Sublime is an immersive installation that allows visitors to smell and see Hibiscadelphus wilderianus Rock, a flower once indigenous to ancient lava fields on the southern slopes in Maui, Hawaii.

Using tissue samples from a dried specimen from the Harvard University Herbarium, the artists have recreated its scent, allowing people to experience it more than 100 years after it disappeared.

This state-of-the-art piece will be presented as a box suspended from the ceiling, encouraging visitors to step under it to smell the scent of the extinct flower.

The installation is a collaboration between artist Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, smell researcher and artist Sissel Tolaas, and a team of researchers and engineers from the biotechnology company Ginkgo Bioworks, led by Creative Director Dr Christina Agapakis.

The Eden Project Florilegium Society was founded in the year 2000 and is a group of botanical artists and illustrators interested in plant sciences.

They are dedicated to documenting and highlighting the array of plant life found at Eden and Cornwall through the use of watercolour, pen and ink, and pencils.

The Radical Botany exhibition features work by artists Christina Agapakis, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg,Sissel Tolaas, William Arnold, Jan Cheshire, Mally Francis FLS, Ros Franklin, Fran Patterson, Anita Pearman, Julie Peart, Edwina Pickard, Gillian Roue, Chrissie Russell, Laura Silburn, Meriel Thurstan, Jenny Ward, Alison Wilkins and Dominica Williamson.

Eden’s Co-Founder Sir Tim Smit said: “When you view the works in the Florilegium, try to quell any impatience you might have and dwell a little time on each work.

“By looking closely, you see into the wonder of living things, their complexity and their total fitness for purpose. Only by allowing yourself this luxury of time can you feel that tingling go up your spine which signals a glimpse of something very special.”

Céline Holman, Eden’s Art Curator, said: “We are delighted to show this insightful exhibition that reveals plants in a new light. It unveils the deep-rooted relationship between art and botany.

“The artworks explore our understanding of flora in different ways, whether by rigorous detailed observation, the study of their form or how they stimulate our senses.”

Entry to the exhibition is free with Eden admission, membership or a Locals’ Pass.