[Skip to content] [Skip to main navigation] [Skip to user navigation] [Skip to global search] [Accessibility information] [Contact us]


Bloom is a display of artworks by Edward Chell, a series of detailed painted plant silhouettes inspired by plants, and images of plants, in the Horniman's Gardens and historic collection.

Painted onto individual gesso panels, and accompanied by other related objects he has made, Edward's images will be shown alongside some of the artefacts that inspired them.

The 40 panels respond to a set of the Horniman's rare books by 19th-century British naturalist and early photographer Anna Atkins, looking at these in relation to plants in both living and dried form in the Museum's archives. Chell's panels link the blue of Atkins' cyanotypes, or 'sunprints', to the blue and white china so prevalent in the 18th and 19th centuries.

One of these books, which document British algae and are widely recognised as the first to be published with photographic illustrations, will be on display with other pieces from the Horniman's collections.

Bloom can be seen from Saturday 11 July 2015 in the new display space in the Horniman's recently redeveloped Natural History Gallery entrance.


Edward Chell

Edward Chell is an artist based in London and an academic in Fine Art at the University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury.

His recent Arts & Humanities Research Council Fellowship exhibition Soft Estate explored artificial landscapes and ecosystems surrounding road networks and their relationship to 18th century English landscape design. Soft Estate had contributions from among others, environmental writer Richard Mabey. Eclipse, published by Stour Valley Arts in 2013, accompanied another of Chell’s exhibitions at the Beaney Museum, Canterbury and included an essay by author and historian Jenny Uglow.