Natural Progression is a group exhibition that showcased different works inspired by botanical illustration. For this show, I incorporated my current practice of emulating rose petals through watercolor painting. The work is again inspired by miraculous rose petals from Marian apparitions, where images and portraits seem to be “printed” on rose petals. This particular triptych work is inspired by, and documents the (condensed) cycle of sleep – from the moment you’re awake, to the state of sleeping itself, and to when you wake up. It is an allusion to life as a cycle, and that life goes on.

L-R: “To Drift Off”, “To Rest” and “To Arise”. 12 x 18 inches each. Watercolor on paper.


Notes and curation by Ricky Francisco

Botanical illustration has been with us for millennia. Starting with the Ancient Greeks attempts to record plants for medicinal purposes, it has expanded into the methodical graphical indexing of plants as a scientific endeavor, and eventually, in the Age of Expansion, part of the colonial enterprise. With advancements of photography, instead of dying out, botanical illustration has diversified its roles to satisfy artistic impulses.

In Natural Progression, a loose survey of contemporary Philippine practitioners is made, to see how botanical illustration has been used as method of inquiry, material of expression, and even as means of protest. As an exhibition, it is meant to give form to botanical illustration’s artistic inclination and natural progression in our contemporary contexts.

Natural Progression featured the works of Glecy Alberto, Emmanuel Cordova, Ginoe, Shannah Horencio, Alagadngsining and Steph Alvarez. The show ran from February 29, 2020 until March 15, 2020 at Galerie Stephanie in Mandaluyong, Philippines.