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This is the story of Celia Rosser, internationally acclaimed Botanical Illustrator, who ultimately dedicated her life to painting the entire genus of Banksia, the only artist to have done such a thing. Her dedication to the task put her at the centre of the Monash Banksia Project underwritten by the University for twenty-five years and culminating in the production of an extraordinary three-volume florilegium that became one of the great books published in the twentieth century. In telling this story of Celia Rosser's unparalleled talent and extraordinary achievement, Banksia Lady explores the history of Botanical Illustration, Botany, academia, gardens and their herbarium and Australia's place in changing the shape of the world.
Carolyn Landon has written several award winning memoir/biographies focusing on ordinary people whose lives define and are defined by the times in which they live, but this is the first time she has set her sights on a subject already known and admired for her extraordinary talents and artistic achievement. Landon is a newcomer to the world of Botanical Art, but has become a convert concerning all things botanical through her work with Ms Rosser. In order to fully understand who her subject is and what she has achieved, Landon has explored the history of art, history of Australia, history of botanical discovery, history of botany and the institutions that grew from discovery and science. Most importantly she has learned the place of artists in the midst of it all.
Carolyn Landon is author of Jackson's Track; Memoir of a Dreamtime Place (Penguin); Jackson's Track Revisited; History Remembrance and Reconciliation (Monash University Publishing); Cups with No Handles; Memoir of a Grassroots Activist (Hybrid Press) and Black Swan; A Koorie Woman's Life (Allen & Unwin). She has a Masters Degree in Biography and Life Writing, and is an Adjunct Research Assistant at Monash University.