Yanny Petters is a botanical portraitist from County Wicklow in Ireland. She works exclusively from life, either in her studio in Glendarragh, Newtownmountkennedy, County Wicklow, or out in the midst of her subject's habitats. Yanny paints in a variety of media, including oils and water colours, and she produces exquisite drawings and fine art nature prints. She also specialises in Verre Églomisé, or painting on glass, an old and rare technique she has been developing and adapting to suit her plant portraits since her years working as a sign writer in the 1980s. Her paintings are in a number of important collections including the Dr. Shirley Sherwood Collection at Kew Gardens, London, and the Office of Public Works in Dublin. She is a member of Visual Artists Ireland, the Irish Society of Botanical Artists (ISBA), the Water Colour Society of Ireland and the Dublin Painting & Sketching Club.
'Hedgerow, stories from a linear world' solo exhibition 2019
In her exhibition at the Olivier Cornet Gallery artist Yanny Petters presented a series of Verre Eglomisé paintings, watercolours and drawings from that iconic element of the Irish countryside, the Hedgerow. Exploring her local hedgerows she drew on this many-faceted world to create gilded and painted treasures to inspire the viewer, that we might seek out the wonders of what we so often discount as a bunch of weeds! The hedgerow goes back a long way in our history, dividing and yet holding together a rich habitat that remains after our forests were cleared. Land boundaries can be traced back to Neolithic times and the circa-12th-century Townland boundaries are the country’s longest standing land divisions.
At a time when farming practices are changing in scale many of these valuable habitats are being removed. While we might plant new hedges, it is the ancient ones which support up to 3, 000 organisms from flowers and trees, birds and animals to insects and microscopic creatures, without which our land would become desolate.
As we become more concerned about a changing climate we will look to hedgerows to serve as windbreaks, to shelter our livestock, reduce soil erosion, aid drainage and provide homes for beneficial predators who protect our food crops from pests. These harbours of biodiversity should be cherished for the health of our future generations.
In her work, Yanny raises awareness of our wild plants, opening our eyes to a myriad of wonders in our local environment. It's not just a bunch of weeds, but truly amazing and beautifully evolved species living in symbiotic harmony.
The exhibition ran from 13th October to 10th November 2019
Hedgerow silhouettes with Cow Parsley and Vetch 2019
Gold leaf and pigment on the back of glass
80cm x 40cm
'Hedgerow' solo exhibition April-June 2018
Yanny's solo exhibition at The Seamus Ennis Arts Centre, Naul, Co. Dublin, took place from April to June 2018.
In this exhibition at the Seamus Ennis Arts Centre Yanny presented a series of monotype nature prints and drawings of the plants associated with that iconic element of the Irish countryside, the Hedgerow. 12th Century Townland boundaries are the country's longest standing land divisions which support up to 3000 organisms, from flowers and trees, birds and animals to insects and microscopic creatures without which our land would be desolate.
A Hedgerow is not just a bunch of weeds, but truly amazing and beautifully evolved family of species living in symbiotic harmony.
Hedgerow Bank 1
Monotype Nature Print A/P 66cm x 45cm 2017
“Come with me, I’ll show you something beautiful”
“Komm mit mir, Ich zeig' Dir ‘was Schönes”.
Yanny's solo show at the Olivier Cornet Gallery October/November 2016.
Twelve glass paintings inspired by and in memory of the artist's mother Wilma Petters.
Teasel for Finches (November)
159cm x 48cm 2015
Dr. Shirley Sherwood Collection, Kew, London
Top: Bluebells (May)
57cm x 34cm 2015
Bottom: Rosehips with Palm Fronds (October)
60cm x 38cm 2016
Group show, 'Republic' at the Olivier Cornet Gallery July 2016
I chose to depict the Easter Lily in Verre Églomisé as I wanted to reflect the nearness of Harry Clarkes' studios at 33 North Frederick Street, just around the corner from The Olivier Cornet Gallery. The Clarke Studios were damaged during the Easter Rising. The St. Gobnait window, in the Honan Chapel in Cork, was in the making at the time but thankfully was not damaged. Clarke's works for Coleridges' Rime of the Ancient Mariner were destroyed at the time.
My technique picks up on the drawn designs for stained glass, known as Cartoons, the translucence and use of deep blues and the use of seemingly random devices to 'fill' small spaces between designs which are part of Clarke's work. The designs in acid etch indicate a shadow of the Arts and Crafts Movement which spanned the period from 1880s to 1925. All in all the piece is inspired by the meanings attributed to The Easter Lily which were the reason for Cumman Na mBan's use of it as a symbol of remembrance for those who died during the Rising.
Click here for more information.
Calla Lily Easter Lily
Verre Églomisé/painting on glass
80cm x 28cm
Yanny Petters 2016
WATERCOLOUR SOCIETY EXHIBITION PRIZE
Yanny was thrilled to be awarded the Whytes Auctioneers prize at the Water Colour Society of Ireland's annual exhibition in September 2015 for painting of a Calla Lily. The award was presented by Ian Whyte.
SUCCESS AT BLOOM 2015
Yanny was awarded a gold and bronze medal and a Best In Show commendation at the third annual Botanical and Floral Art in Bloom exhibition at Bloom 2015, the flower and garden show held in Dublin every June bank holiday. The gold medal (and Best In Show) in the floral category was for her block print 'Meadow with Plantain and Speedwell'. The bronze medal in the botanical category was awarded to her watercolour study 'Apple Malus'. Yanny was thrilled and honoured to receive these accolades for her work, particularly as she has been experimenting with block printing techniques.
Yanny with her gold medal & best in show winning print.
Yanny's bronze medal winning watercolour 'Apple Malus'.
Two of Yanny's paintings on glass, 'An Irish Meadow' and 'Common Moss' were selected for the exhibition of works from the Shirley Sherwood Collection Botanical Art In The 21st Century in Kew Gardens, London, which was held from February 6th to August 10th 2014.
An Irish Meadow
Painting on Glass 2004
79cm x 41cm
Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata, Narrow-leaved Bird’s Foot Trefoil Lotus tenuis, White Clover, Trifolium repens,
Brown Bent, Agrostis canina,
Slender Brome, Bromus lepidus,
Moss, Eurynchium praelongum,
and other grasses.
Common Moss Polytrichum commune
Painting on Glass 2003
45cm x 45cm
Two of Yanny's works, 'Wild Strawberry' and 'Self Heal', which were acquired by the Office of Public Works (OPW) during her 'Floral Alchemy' show at the Olivier Cornet Gallery in 2013, were selected for the 16th Art of the State Exhibition 2013 'Encounters'.
'Encounters' is part of a series of annual joint art exhibitions organised by the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) in Northern Ireland and the OPW in the Republic of Ireland with 40 works (20 from each collection) selected from both collections. Each art work was paired with one from the other collection, creating a dialogue between the pairings.
The exhibition toured Ireland by travelling to four destinations, two in Northern Ireland and two in the Republic. Destinations were Derry, (City of Culture 2013), Lisburn, Cork and Limerick.
An exhibition of Yanny's latest Verre Églomisé panels depicting selected Irish wild flowers and plants was held at the Olivier Cornet Gallery, 1 The Wooden Building, Exchange Street Upper, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 between April 24th and May 24th 2013. The exhibition was opened by Dr. Hilary Pyle, HRHA.
You can learn about Yanny's use of the Verre Églomisé technique and its fascinating history by clicking here.