Artist Amy Shelton commissioned to create new work in response to Covid-19
24 June 2020
We are delighted to announce the Covid-19 commission Biophilia: The Exeter Florilegium by Exeter-based artist, Amy Shelton, funded by Arts Council England.
Shelton will create an artwork from a unique herbarium collection of pressed plant specimens that she has been meticulously compiling on daily walks in Exeter. This new artwork will record spring and summer through wildflowers collected between March and October 2020, coinciding with restrictions imposed by Covid-19. Biophilia: The Exeter Florilegium will also include pressed flowers contributed by staff and patients from the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital as well as specimens contributed from the gardens and window boxes of people self-isolating.
Amy Shelton said: ‘I’m delighted to be creating an artwork for RAMM that will capture the profound common experience of witnessing nature unfurl across Exeter during the Covid-19 pandemic. By mapping and preserving samples of marginal plants growing in the radius of the RD&E Hospital day by day as they came into bloom, this artwork will tell a unique story of the pandemic in Exeter over British Summer Time, and will be both an elegy to the losses and a tribute to the healing power of nature.’
Lara Goodband, contemporary art curator at RAMM said, ‘This poetical idea will create a beautiful and moving artwork that responds to an unprecedented time by looking to nature for inspiration. During those weeks in spring when we were restricted to only short times away from home, many people commented on noticing the slow changes to their natural environment. This new artwork perfectly captures those quiet moments in a thoughtful way.’
Amy Shelton’s proposal was selected by open competition from a range of submissions from artists living or working in Exeter by the selection panel Peter Randall-Page, sculptor; Julien Parsons, Head of Collections at RAMM and Lara Goodband. The Biophilia: The Exeter Florilegium by Amy Shelton will be shown at the museum in 2021.
This commission is funded by Arts Council England.