In September 2009 the first Gallery for Botanical Art in Germany was opened by Sylvia Peter (Botanical Artist) and Michael Junginger (Expert in forestry). The Gallery presents a variety of international Botanical Artists working in different media. Watercolours, oil- and acrylic paintings, photographs, sculptures, plant objects and also applied arts like fashion or jewelry are presented.
The Gallery is located in the charming little village Thuengersheim near Wuerzburg in northern Bavaria.
The building is a typical winegrower’s house dating from the early 17th century. The listed building was carefully restored by architect Felix Tannenberg in 2008/9. It is called “Der Alte Stern” („The Old Star“), having been the tavern “The Star” in the 1920s.
Typical for the rural wine region it is built as a half-timbered house with a red stone floor in the barn. With its high ceilings the exhibition space on the ground floor offers possibilities to display large works.
For refreshments a small café is situated in the former tavern room. Homemade cakes and small dishes are mainly offered of organic quality. Organic beer and soft drinks are served as well as a selection of typical wines by local producers.
There are cars from all over Europe parking in front of her gallery. The exhibitions attract botanical art lovers from all over. Indeed, Sylvia`s gallery is the only one in Europe for botanical art.
Michael Junginger is her husband. They were both born in Kaufbeuren, a city in Southeastern Bavaria. “Already a a child I wanted for birthdays or Christmas special plant and flower books. With them I could recognize the different species in the countryside.” As a small boy her husband was fascinated by the garden pond and later on, by water plants.
After school Sylvia decided to become a trainee for glass and porcelain painting. “At that time flower painting was rather old fashioned”, she remembers. In 1994 she moved to the East German town of Halle where she studied Art and Design. „I had an interesting time there 4 years after the German reunification. There have been heavy discussions between East and West professors.“
An article about the British Botanical Art changed everything. She travelled to England, met painters and the icon of Botanical Art, Shirley Sherwood. “I was fascinated by her private art collection.” And she felt extremely honored when Sherwood bought one of her paintings. “I was incredible happy”, admits Sylvia. Up to today she prefers to paint wild plant and flowers. “Thistles and buckhorns are belonging to my favorite motives. I just like the plain and unimpressive plants. They have such a natural beauty, which I like to paint and show.”
Sylvia still travels often to England. There she gets inspiration and meets artists. “Being in touch with them was the basic for my gallery.” Today she doesn’t look anymore for artists to present in her gallery. “They are asking me for exhibit here.” One of the conditions to exhibit in Sylvia`s gallery: “They must be really in touch with all kind of nature motifs. They must meet my criterias and they are quite strong.” Indeed, she is most happy when she can choose together with the artists the motifs for the next exhibition. “I am living my dream”, Sylvia admits.
In the future both want to promote Botanical Art as its own art genre.
The actual exhibition millefleurs ends December 15, 2013.
Fotos (9): Forum Botanische Kunst