23rd – 28th June 2023
Painting Wild Flowers in the Historic
Saxon Village of Viscri with
Dr John Akeroyd,
Helen Allen and Irina Neacsu
The village of Viscri, surrounded by glorious and floriferous meadows, will be the setting for this unique course inspired by the paintings in the two volumes that make up the Transylvania Florilegium.
The Transylvania Florilegium was the brainchild of
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (now His Majesty, King Charles III)
“When His Royal Highness first visited Transylvania in 1998 he was ‘totally overwhelmed by its unique beauty and its extraordinarily rich heritage’. His Royal Highness saw the importance of this beautiful landscape, rich in meadows, with flora that is extremely rare and vulnerable to changes in farming methods. The Prince suggested it should be recorded in the form of a florilegium. The Transylvania Florilegium would be a means of drawing wider attention to the precious flora. It would not only be a splendid and important publication but also an appeal for the protection of the environment, since the traditionally managed grassland is fundamental to the landscape in a centuries-old managed ecosystem.”
Dr John Akeroyd: The botanist and Transylvania flora specialist will give an insight to the flora and expert advice on botany and related subjects
Helen Allen: Botanical artist and tutor who led the Transylvania project will tell its story of the project through the flora, the eyes of the artists and the paintings
Irina Neacsu: The foremost Romanian botanical artist and tutor living and working in Transylvania
The course will focus on the flowers found in the meadows surrounding Viscri and follow the work of the Transylvania Florilegium artists’ drawings and preparing paintings for the collection.
36 international artists visited two sites, Zalanpatak and Viscri, for two weeks between 2012 and 2016 covering most seasons to produce paintings of meadow flowers for this unique collection.
Although all the artists are experienced painters they worked as teams, supporting and encouraging each other.
Immersion in the landscape and culture of the village play an important part along with the expert knowledge of botanist John Akeroyd.
Our days are planned in a similar way and a brief description follows:
Arrive in time for drinks and dinner
Post dinner introduction to the course and working with wild flowers
Visit to the Prince’s House to view the Transylvania Florilegium volumes
Presentations: Dr John Akeroyd, Helen Allen
Meadow walk to immerse ourselves in the extraordinary beauty of the flora whilst learning about the countryside and finding species to draw and paint
Tea and Plant Talk
A time to talk about plant choices and review work in progress
Evening – Drinks, Dinner
Each day will follow a similar pattern of tutor-guided drawing and painting, discussions and demonstrations
A show of work; paintings, whether or not completed, and/or sketchbooks – a plenary session to end the course
The course will be based at 125 Viscri, a haven of peace, beauty and tranquility.
The Transylvania Florilegium artists were based here several times during the project and so appreciated the warmth and attention to detail provided by Mihai and Raluca
Rooms are beautifully styled and comfortable with a contemporary but traditional Saxon atmosphere.
Meals are traditional fare sourced locally and from 125’s organic kitchen gardens.
Fees, inclusive of all meals and tuition €1100.00
(For double room; rates vary for single room occupancy)
Wines and additional drinks extra
TRAVEL not included
Detailed itinerary and materials list will be sent when payment has been made
For more information contact:
email@example.com or by phone (including WhatsApp): +40771034727
Helen Allen trained originally as a textile designer at the University of Leeds and as a teacher at Homerton College, Cambridge, before studying at the English Gardening School in the Chelsea Physic Garden, London. She received the prestigious Diploma in Botanical Illustration and was a course tutor for a number of years before becoming the Diploma Course Director.
In January 2014 she founded a new school, the Chelsea School of Botanical Art at the Chelsea Physic Garden. Helen also paints and teaches at her studio in Ham.
With an eye for detail, fascination for pattern and a great love of plants, she delights in sharing her experience through painting and teaching.
Helen has exhibited at galleries in the UK and overseas including Ebury Galleries, the Garden Museum, the Chelsea Physic Garden and Hortus in London, Ursus Gallery, New York and the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburg, USA, the National Botanic Garden for Wales, the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Hampton Court Palace.
Helen’s work has been selected for inclusion in the Highgrove Florilegium during which she was an active member of the steering group, and the Transylvanian Florilegium, a project she lead for five years for HRH The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation and Addison Publications. Her work can be found in private collections and the archives of the Hunt Institute, the Chelsea Physic Garden, Hampton Court Palace and the Kew Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives Collections.
Irina Neacsu’s education and training has art, design and architecture at its core. She has a BA and MA in architecture from the Ion Mincu University of Architecture, Bucharest, Romania, followed a postgraduate program at the Art University of Rome, Italy, and is currently studying for a PhD at the Art University Bucharest, Romania (UNARTE).
Since 2001 Irina has been project manager at Cembra School of Botanical Art and Design, Romania and from 2016, botanical artist and interior designer, at Irina Neacsu Studio, Romania
Irina’s botanical art training was at Hortus Botanicus, Leiden, the Netherlands. In 2022 she won a scholarship and participation in botanical art residency at Oak Spring Garden Foundation, US and also at Denver Botanic Garden US.
Her work also won the “public vote” for the work exhibited, and leading a graphite work shop at the 2022 American Society of Botanical Artists, in New York. Also in 2022 Irina was awarded a Silver Gilt medal at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Botanical Art Show at London’s prestigious Saatchi Gallery.
This year 2023, Irina will have a solo exhibition of botanical art at William Museum of Art, Abington, VA, US.
Dr John Akeroyd is an English botanist, conservationist and writer.
At school he was a pupil of noted botanist Oleg Polunin, who introduced him to the Mediterranean and European floras.
After studying at the Universities of St Andrews (BSc) and Cambridge (PhD), he carried out post-doctoral research at Trinity College, Dublin, and the University of Reading, where he prepared a revised 2nd edition of volume 1 of Flora Europaea, the standard work on European wild plants. Since 1989 he has been a freelance consultant, editor and writer, including work for the EU Habitats Directive, Bern Convention and Planta Europa. He was co-founder and editor of Plant Talk, the first global magazine for plant conservation; and is the author or editor of ten books, and author of numerous scientific and popular articles.
In 2000 he first visited the Saxon Villages (Târnava Mare) region of southern Transylvania, and was astonished to find a medieval to 18th century landscape, with traditional villages, ancient woods with wolves and bears, and especially wildflower meadows and dry meadow-steppe grassland. Realizing that this is one of the most important cultural and ecological landscapes in Europe, since 2004 he has been working within Fundatia ADEPT, based in Saschiz, Mures County, with Romanian, British and other European colleagues, to promote sustainable development and non-intensive but productive farming and biodiversity conservation. He is the author of The Historic Countryside of the Saxon Villages of Southern Transylvania (2006), also available in Romanian as Peisajul Istoric al Satelor Sasesti din Sudul Transilvaniei, and scientific papers and popular articles on the region.
He researched and wrote the text that accompanies the illustrations of the Transylvania Florilegium.
We know that life can throw many unpredictable aspects our way, and we want to be able to meet you with flexibility. At the same time, we want to protect the good organization of the courses and the lecturers who prepare in time for the meeting with you. That’s why we recommend that you take our cancellation policy into account when you decide to participate in Cembra workshops.
Withdrawal from this course will be different from our normal cancellation policy. The course involves the presence of two lecturers from outside the country, whose transport and accommodation are provided, therefore confirmation of the number of learners is especially important for them.
You will be able to withdraw from this event at least 2 weeks before the scheduled date and we will refund 50% of the course price paid in full upon registration.
Our workshops and courses focus on the study and research of natural subjects through various disciplines, such as botanical art and flower design, landscape design, cyanotype, linocut, ink and textile dye. In forms of short workshops, distance learning, summer schools, art retreats and long term courses, our tutors aim to investigate creative explorations and authentic approaches of urban and wild nature.