Young Botanical Artist Competition

The Young Botanical Artist Competition was initiated in 2022 by the Shirley Sherwood Collection, in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The aim was to encourage young artists to engage with the natural world at a time when preserving our planet’s biodiversity is vital.

"If you can paint one leaf, you can paint the world"

John Ruskin

We asked artists from two age groups, 16–18 and 19–25, to submit two-dimensional artworks on the theme of ‘Trees’. The shortlisted artists would have their work shown in this exhibition, and the winners and runners-up of each age group would also receive cash prizes and art supplies.

Ten of the world’s most renowned botanical artists and curators donated their time to judge the entries, choosing works that represented their subject creatively, but with scientific accuracy.

When the competition closed on 30 April 2023, we had received over 1,000 entries from 77 countries. The array of different media and styles showed the unique perspective of each artist. The standard was high, proving a challenge for the judges. Today, we are proud to present an exhibition of outstanding works from some of the world’s most promising young botanical artists.

The Exhibition

The exhibition showcasing the 50 winning artworks will run at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, from 20 October 2023 to 7 April 2024. Over the duration of the exhibition, members of the public have the opportunity to vote for their favourite artwork and the results of the People's Choice Vote will be announced shortly after the exhibition closes in April 2024. 

Access to the exhibition is included in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, entrance ticket. 

Get tickets here