A model wearing a look from Zimmermann's Spring 21, Wild Botanica, collection standing on a hill overlooking the sea.

Exclusive to the National Library, 8 looks from fashion label Zimmermann’s Spring 21 collection, Wild Botanica, will be on display alongside the Ellis Rowan paintings that inspired their creation. The installation will be in the Library’s foyer for two weeks from 25 February until 11 March.

Zimmermann’s Creative Director Nicky Zimmermann was instantly taken by the beautiful botanical artwork of the 19th-century Australian artist and wanted to bring the artworks to life – laying the seed for the creation of Wild Botanica.

I’ve always been drawn to botanical art - for a few seasons I’ve wanted to work with it but struggled with the scientific aesthetic and what we could do with it. I came across a book called The Flower Hunter which had works from a trailblazing Australian artist and explorer from the turn of the last century, Ellis Rowan. It really resonated with me - it was emotive art and very Australian - I recognised the plants and birds and I loved the way she painted with such a feminine hand. I thought her artwork would be amazing to apply to clothing. We were fortunate to bring ten of her artworks to life in the prints with the support of The National Library in Australia and others. - Nicky Zimmermann

The National Library of Australia holds the largest archive of Ellis Rowan’s artwork and has exhibited much of her work in the past, in addition to publishing books on Rowan’s life.

Visitors to the National Library can see the Zimmermann + Ellis Rowan display daily from 9am to 8pm from 25 February to 11 March 2021. The Library foyer will be open on the Canberra Day public holiday on Monday 8 March.

You can also see more of the artist’s work in theBirds of Paradise: Ellis Rowan in New Guinea exhibition currently on in the Treasures Gallery until 28 March.

The Ellis Rowan Collection comprises more than 900 works painted over half a century from the 1860s. Her paintings primarily depict Australian wildflowers, as well as birds of paradise from Papua New Guinea. View the National Library’s Ellis Rowan digital collection via our catalogue.

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Type Special event