Annie Rushton

Annie Rushton

Annie Rushton

 

 

 

My interest in botanical illustration is quite recent. I was expelled from art class in grade 7 for talking – although that didn’t stop me talking, it did stop me pursuing any drawing or artistic activities for the next 50 years! I am a keen gardener with a particular interest in Australian natives, and this is what led me to enrol in one of Lauren Black’s beginner botanical illustration classes four or five years ago. Despite my trepidation and much to my surprise, I discovered that I really loved the process of drawing in particular. As a member of Botaniko, I have been able to combine my passion for local history and storytelling with botanical illustration. I have recently been experimenting with vegetable inks and eco-printing methods and hope to develop this in further artwork.

WALNUT 1 Juglans regia

Mixed Media ­ graphite, walnut leaf prints on paper, walnut ink and silk thread dyed with walnut husks, 2016

Walnut trees have been harvested for thousands of years for food and medicine. Brought to Tasmania in the early days of the colony, the trees were large enough to give a crop of nuts by 1826. By 1847, they were growing so well that their commercial opportunities were being promoted.
All parts of the tree were used ­ nuts were harvested for food, wood was prized for fine furniture and nuts, leaves and bark were used for dyeing and medicinal purposes.
Walnut tinctures, teas and ointments were used to treat a range of medical conditions including tonsillitis, gout and rheumatic complaints, leaves were recommended for intestinal worms and nuts were preserved in syrup for use as a purgative. Bakers used finely ground walnut shells to stop bread sticking to the oven shelves when cooking.
In the Hobart Town Courier in 1834, a doctor claimed that a large family would benefit from having a walnut tree as it would abridge the doctor’s bill £10 a year! It is not known when the walnut tree was planted at Port Arthur but it is believed to have been before 1860. Its location in the garden of the Junior Medical Officer may mean that it was grown primarily for medicinal purposes.

Mixed Media ­ graphite, walnut leaf prints on paper, walnut ink and silk thread dyed with walnut husks, 2016