Sunday, 14 August 2011

An exciting morning of research

Sometimes research just goes well.  I've been running around the internet looking up plants that associate with australia, medicinal research and alzheimers.  Unsurprisingly this has taken me 4 hours, along with printing some relevant data and images. 

I started with the Chelsea Physic Garden.  I went there a few years ago when I was into quilting and there was an exhibition of Ken Clark's wife's quilting. (he was a UK politician).  She was a very down-to-earth woman, and she had a degree in medieaval history and was a keen gardener, so her quilts often featured medieaval plants. The Chelsea Physic Garden has a website that shows their different gardens, including the Garden of World Medicine and Pharmaceutical Garden.  The Garden of World Medicine has a section about Aboriginal medicine, so I've been printing pictures of their plants (banksia, crinum, eucalyptus, dodonaea, prostanthera and solanum).  And the Pharmaceutical Garden has a section on psychiatry and I've only managed to look at Narcissus so far (also has plants valeriana and vicia faba).  I got a bit absorbed with narcissus because this gives the medication galantamine which is used for Alzheimers, and galantamine gets its name from Galanthus - snowdrop.  So I've been looking at snowdrops, which with a bit of imagination could be drawn to resemble amyloid plaques which are the obstructive build-ups in the brain that give Alzheimers symptoms.  How good is this!

I'm getting lots of images together to be able to build my sketchbook (must call it Visual Diary - the term used here in Aus/Curtin).  Also have ideas coming together to create my mood board (terminology here is Concept Board)  which I was a bit worried about, but now have the materials and ideas.  Yippee. 
Sketchbook pages from Kings Park. Not fine art but just what I need to work up images to print.

And I have not even started on the information I gathered on the website for botanical artists in Aus.  This site gave names of Victorian artists and how flowers were used in children's literature and then went on to the European language of flowers. 

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