The Shirley Sherwood Award for Botanical Art

The Shirley Sherwood Award is an accolade presented once a year in recognition of an artist’s contribution to Botanical Art. The prestigious award includes a prize of £10,000 and a dedicated space in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to display a selected artwork for a year.

2024 - Carol Woodin

Carol Woodin (born Salamanca, New York, 1956) started creating botanical art in 1990 and is recognised today as one of the world’s finest botanical artists. She has spent over 30 years investigating colour, specialising in watercolour painting on vellum, a subject on which she achieves an astonishing translucency. Her work has been exhibited around the world and is held in many collections including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Hunt Institute, the Smithsonian Institution and the Niagara Parks Commission, Canada. Recent show venues include the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, Museo della Grafica in Pisa (Italy), Museum de Buitenplaats in Eelde (Netherlands), and Newhouse Galleries in New York.

Her subjects are wide-ranging and include wild plant species but orchids are her speciality and her painting of Disa uniflora, the ‘Pride of Table Mountain’, was commissioned for the Shirley Sherwood Collection. She has travelled widely to observe the plants she paints including trips to South America to prepare plates for the monograph Slipper Orchids of the Tropical Americas by Phillip Cribb and Christopher Purver.  She painted Phragmipedium kovachii in Peru and also led groups of artists to Machu Picchu for botanical painting classes of the local orchids organised by Dr. Shirley Sherwood. In 2021, she was invited to participate in a project at the Grootbos Florilegium, which aimed to raise awareness of the flora and fauna of the Cape Kingdom in South Africa.

Carol is an experienced botanical art teacher and an important contributor to the botanical art community. In her role as Director of Exhibitions for the American Society of Botanical Artists, she masterminded the remarkable Botanical Art Worldwide project in 2018, coordinating paintings of native plants from 25 countries. She is helping to organise the next Botanical Art Worldwide project alongside the Worldwide Day of Botanical Art on May 18 which will celebrate crop diversity.  Awards she has received include the RHS Gold Medal, the ASBA Diane Bouchier Artist Award, and the Orchid Digest Medal of Honor.

You can see more of Carol's work on the Shirley Sherwood Collection site here.

Previous recipients of The Shirley Sherwood Award for Botanical Art:

2023 – Beverly Allen, Australia

2022 – Mieko Ishikawa, Japan