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Poplar Leaf

Botanical painter Jess Shepard (AKA Inky Leaves) is ‘catapulting botanical art into the 21st century with the use of sound and watercolour paint’ for her Kickstarter project – Leafscape.

Leafscape is in part a collection of botanical paintings that take hyperealism to the limit, the leaf portraits resemble high-resolution photographs, and are simply exquisite.

Jess trained in botany so that she could ‘understand the processes of plants more comprehensively’ and this knowledge is obvious in every detail of each portrait. Jess describes ‘Leafscape’ as a way of showing ‘the world how beautiful nature is in the most unexpected ways…to give plants a voice’.

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Decaying London Plane Tree Leaf

The Leafscape project combines a collection of leaf portraits with the environmental soundscape from where Jess found each leaf growing beginning with London’s East End, including the Sussex seaside and finishing in Granada in Spain where you hear birdsong and goat bells. The resulting soundtrack has been arranged in the Brighton studio of the musician Hoodlum Priest.

This Kickstarter Project will help Jess to produce 500 copies of a beautifully laid out book and soundtrack that tells the ‘Leafscape’ story; marking an historical moment in the lifeline of botanical art.

Jess has painted over 30 of these supersized leaf portraits (making them very different to traditional botanical paintings in their scale) over the past 18 months that have been reproduced in Leafscape the Book, and they will be exhibited in her solo exhibition at Abbott and Holder in London between 16-25 February 2017.