The Herbarium Project

Sonya Patel Ellis

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About

About

The Herbarium Project was founded in 2013 by illustrated book editor, writer, and artist Sonya Patel Ellis, as a platform for conversations about the links between nature, art and books. Inspired by research into the art of pressed flowers, Sonya made her own traditional herbarium press and began systematically pressing flowers from her own garden and further afield. Press meets press. Various exhibitions, events, workshops and publications followed and continue to evolve. Sonya’s work with The Herbarium Project was recently showcased in the December issue of Gardens Illustrated. For more details and examples of work, see our About, Résumé, Portfolio and Press pages. For latest news, features and inspiration read our newly launched Herbier * magazine and Blog.

Latest news // Herbier * Mag

Herbier * // September 16 // Flower Power: 1 // Subverting the Zeitgeist // ‘Flower power’ – 1960s idealism or a movement that changed the world?

Herbier * // September 16 // Flower Power: 1 // Subverting the Zeitgeist // ‘Flower power’ – 1960s idealism or a movement that changed the world?

Sep 20, 2016 | No Comments

The ‘flower power’ of the mid to late 1960s era – conceptualised by Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in his 1965 manifesto for the Berkley Barb, assimilated by the hippie counterculture of San Francisco and eventually adopted by a mainstream global following – was heady stuff for heady times. Via iconic imagery such as Bernie Boston’s image of a boy pushing […]

Herbier * // September 2016 // The Flower Power Series // A Quiet Revolution

Herbier * // September 2016 // The Flower Power Series // A Quiet Revolution

Sep 20, 2016 | No Comments

As a new show opens at the V&A Museum exploring the finished and unfinished revolutions of the 1960s – You Say You Want A Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966–1970 – so Herbier magazine embarks on an ongoing exploration of ‘flower power’ in all its many and varied forms…

Herbier * // August 2016 // Fern five ways // Sydenham commission

Herbier * // August 2016 // Fern five ways // Sydenham commission

Aug 26, 2016 | No Comments

#ferns #acers #jasmine #sydenhamgardencommission #fernfiveways

Herbier * // July 2016 // The Pressed Flower Garden : 2 // Lavender

Herbier * // July 2016 // The Pressed Flower Garden : 2 // Lavender

Jul 26, 2016 | No Comments

Lavender has a heady history that stems back at least 2,500 years, from the tombs of Egyptian kings and Cleopatra’s boudoir, via monasteries and manor houses, to the commercially grown lavender fields of today. Pressing a specimen is a great way to preserve a piece of this aromatic backstory

Herbier * // July 2016 // The Pressed Flower Garden : 1 // Crocosmia

Herbier * // July 2016 // The Pressed Flower Garden : 1 // Crocosmia

Jul 18, 2016 | No Comments

  Not only does crocosmia cut a dash across an an otherwise unruly midsummer garden, the racemes of red or orange starburst flowers hold their own in the flower press and, once pressed, keep their form and colour for years to come

Herbier * // July 16 // More than flowers // Georgia O’Keeffe // Tate Modern

Herbier * // July 16 // More than flowers // Georgia O’Keeffe // Tate Modern

Jul 6, 2016 | No Comments

Georgia O’Keeffe is most well known for her “blown up” flower paintings – but a new show at Tate Modern celebrates a much wider range of significant works including undulating landscapes, bone paintings and evocative portraits of the artist by her husband, the Modern art pioneer and photographer Alfred Stieglitz

Herbier * // June 16 // For the bees // The Hive // Kew Gardens

Herbier * // June 16 // For the bees // The Hive // Kew Gardens

Jun 16, 2016 | No Comments

Not only is Wolfgang Buttress’ beautiful 17-metre-high swirling structure The Hive and accompanying meditative soundscape designed to emulate a bee hive and the deep visceral hum of its residents, the sound and light within are also energised by the real-time activity and fluctuations of bees located nearby. A wonderful way to explore the story of pollination and be […]

Herbier * // June 16 // Down the park // Serpentine Pavilion & Summer Houses 2016

Herbier * // June 16 // Down the park // Serpentine Pavilion & Summer Houses 2016

Jun 16, 2016 | No Comments

This year’s Serpentine Pavilion – an ‘unzipped wall’ by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) – is joined by four newly commissioned Summer Houses inspired by nearby Queen Caroline’s Temple. Go to marvel at the architectural prowess and ideas behind each structure – see architects’ statements below – then let your mind run free through the many wonderful vistas and […]

Herbier * // May 16 // In the dining room // Herb Garden at The Marksman installed

Herbier * // May 16 // In the dining room // Herb Garden at The Marksman installed

May 26, 2016 | No Comments

Setting table for service #MarksmanDining #HerbGardenAtTheMarksman with works by yours truly Sonya Patel Ellis and Miria Harris – open from today! More details here > Also check out the full range of Chelsea Fringe 2016 events on w/b 28 May here >  And a little round up in Gardens Illustrated featuring Herb Garden at the […]

Herbier * // May 16 // To the framers // Herb Garden at The Marksman for Chelsea Fringe

Herbier * // May 16 // To the framers // Herb Garden at The Marksman for Chelsea Fringe

May 20, 2016 | No Comments

Final selections read to go to the framers – the black background shows the herbs off so beautifully… Clockwise from top left: #violaheartease #violet #saladburnet #Frenchsorrel #fennel #bergamot #orangemint #lovage #wildgarlic #applemint #lemonverbena #borage

Herbier * // May 2016 // Hot off the press // Herb Garden at The Marksman prep

Herbier * // May 2016 // Hot off the press // Herb Garden at The Marksman prep

May 19, 2016 | No Comments

Freshly pressed herbs for #HerbGardenAtTheMarksman opening on 26 May 2016 until 10 June 2016. Which ones will make the culinary cut…

Herbier * May 2016 // In the field for Chelsea Fringe 2016 #HerbGardenatTheMarksman // Jekka’s Herb Farm

Herbier * May 2016 // In the field for Chelsea Fringe 2016 #HerbGardenatTheMarksman // Jekka’s Herb Farm

May 11, 2016 | No Comments

A great day was had by all at Jekka’s Herb Farm in preparation for our Chelsea Fringe 2016 event, Herb Garden at The Marksman. Not only are we excited about the herbs we bought for our installation and exhibition, we were lucky to get a behind-the-scenes preview of the plants and flowers grown especially for Jekka’s Chelsea Flower […]

Herbier * May 2016 // In the studio // Herbage

Herbier * May 2016 // In the studio // Herbage

May 10, 2016 | No Comments

Experiments with #herbs #colour #form #arrangement #lovage #marjoram #herbgardenatthemarksman #chelseafringe2016

Herbier * May 2016 // In the studio // Herbage

Herbier * May 2016 // In the studio // Herbage

May 10, 2016 | No Comments

Experiments with #herbs #colour #form #arrangement #fennel1 #fennel2 #herbgardenatthemarksman #chelseafringe2016

Herbier * May 2016 // In the studio // Herbage

Herbier * May 2016 // In the studio // Herbage

May 10, 2016 | No Comments

Experiments with #herbs #colour #form #arrangement #orangemint #violaheartsease #herbgardenatthemarksman #chelseafringe2016  

Press

  • Gardens Illustrated Dec issue featured image

    A lifelong fascination with nature led Sonya Patel Ellis to establish The Herbarium Project, which promotes the beauty of dried flowers. Here, she shows us how to create a fabulous floral Advent calendar… Read more >

    - Artist Profile // Gardens Illustrated // December 2015

  • THP.com-–-SPE-Profile-Pic

    Forest Gate artist enjoys working with next generation… Read more >

    - Page 6 Profile // Newham Recorder // 6 July 2015

  • rose for postcard low res jpeg

    Floral cuttings hover in suspended glory, deceased yet striking in writer and illustrated book editor Sonya Patel Ellis’s herbarium display. Devising a traditional botanical press to seize collected specimens from her garden, flowers and plants remain in a perpetual state of serenity. Accompanied with other mixed media works, Ellis’s fascination for the taxonomy and etymology of all things horticultural is poetically enlightening in our age of digitised pursuits… Read more >

    - Exhibition Review // Time Out // April 2014

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