Network of Botanical Gardens

During time at Dartington, much like his involvement with the Global Network of Water Museums, Clive looked at ways for CCANW to interest a network of botanic gardens in the arts. This involved approaches to the Botanical Garden of Padua, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and the University of Valencia.

Image: Greenhouses of the new biodiversity gardens in Padua. Photo Clive Adams.

Clive had previously organised an exhibition of the botanical drawings of Peter Randall-Page at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and, with the building of their new Shirley Sherwood Gallery, he approached them again – this time, without success.

He visited Barbara Baldan, Director of the Botanical Garden of Padua, in November 2016 and was impressed by the scale of new galleries that had been created there which seemed to have huge potential. A discussion paper was produced in February 2017 before a second meeting took place in May. The paper explored the potential for exhibitions in their new galleries adjacent to the biodiversity gardens and made several proposals.

Discussion paper, Padua. February 2017

Emma Nicolson from RBG Edinburgh being shown ‘Goethe’s Palm’ in Padua Botanical Garden by Barbara Baldan. Photo Clive Adams.

In May 2019, during the opening period of the Venice Biennale, he took the Head of Exhibitions of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to meet Barbara in Padua. Unfortunately, no collaboration developed and progress was no doubt hampered by Covid restrictions in the following year.

The new gallery at the Botanical Garden of Padua. Photo Clive Adams.

In June 2019 on the occasion of the WAMU-NET conference in Valencia he met with the Director of the Botanic Garden of the University which also had a series of galleries. Our approach to Padua was discussed, as was the idea of collaboration over creating a network of botanical gardens.

CCANW successfully applied to the British Council under their UK/Italy Season 2020 Subvention Fund for a grant of £7,200 to allow a visit of artists and curators to Italy in October 2020, including a trip to Padua, but this was cancelled due to the Pandemic.

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