Wendy F.Walsh - Biography



Wendy Walsh was born in Cumbria, England on 9th April 1915, but for the last 50 years has lived and worked in Ireland. She has exhibited widely at international level, and has received many honours and awards, including several gold medals from the RHS in London. She is particularly well known in Ireland for her stamp designs in the 1980's, and her illustration of botanical books, with text by Dr E.Charles Nelson, formerly taxonomist at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin. These include An Irish Floriligeum: Wild and Garden Flowers of Ireland (published by Thames & Hudson), An Irish Flower Garden, Trees of Ireland: Native and Naturalised, The Burren: a Companion to the Wild Flowers of Ireland's Limestone Wilderness. Most of these are now out of print and collectors' items, as are her limited edition fine art books A Prospect of Irish Flowers and Flowers of Mayo. In 1997 Wendy Walsh was given an Honorary D.Litt. by the University of Dublin (TCD) and in 1998 was made a Life Member of the Royal Dublin Society. She is the only living artist represented in the Chester Beatty collection.

All of this has been achieved at the age when most people are thinking of slowing down and putting their feet up. She rises very early, and paints for several hours at a time, as she will only paint from life and never from photographs. She is blessed with good eyesight, and a still steady hand.

"She is at the pinnacle of botanical art" said Prof. Grenville Lucas, ex-keeper of the herbarium and library at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, London. "She has gained international recognition for the beauty of Irish Flora, which had never been shown before."

The botanical artist who put Irish flowers and trees 'on the map' internationally celebrated her 90th birthday in April 2005, and a special set of four commemorative prints of 'Hellebore' were released to mark the occasion.