Florum was the inspiration of Elizabeth Smail FLS FSBA. Together with Guy Harrison she had successfully run The ‘Flora’ Botanical and Flower Exhibition at the Sevenoaks Wildfowl Reserve. When the Reserve passed to Kent Wildlife Trust Elizabeth proposed a similar exhibition there for 2003 and ‘Florum’ was born.
She was very much a ‘people person’ and an experienced botanical artist with many years of teaching experience. These qualities helped her to build up a loyal core of artists, adding new ones each year to an exhibition which became ever more prestigious and keenly anticipated. Her hard work and enthusiasm kept the project running successfully.
Elizabeth’s death in 2012 left everyone sad but determined to continue the exhibition in her name. Our Visitors’ Book seems to confirm that we are indeed going from strength to strength.
Florum is not a Society or an Open Exhibition. Artists have always been invited and there are some new faces each year.
The aim is to have a good mix of styles and prices as Florum is essentially a fund-raising exhibition. Artists with a strong local or national following are often regulars but new talent is also welcome. Artists may be “rested, re-cycled or re-invited” to keep the exhibition looking fresh. It was Elizabeth’s aim to create a colourful and inspiring mix of works celebrating plant life. Florum invites some of the UK’s most celebrated botanical artists, as well as artists working in freestyle, mixed media, printmaking and jewellery.