Chelsea Physic Garden

One of the greatest botanic gardens in the world during the eighteenth century, the Chelsea Physic Garden, remains of enormous importance today. Established in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, the garden was moved in 1722 to approximately four acres owned by the renowned physician and naturalist Sir Hans Sloane, on the Manor of Chelsea, very close to the Thames. Eileen depicts the grounds of this walled garden in all seasons; even when the beds are covered in frost in the dead of winter, they are beautiful and inviting. ..Tucked amidst the concrete and stone of London, the garden continues to inspire visitors with the untold riches of the natural world, however fraught that historical legacy of scientific discovery may be— most of the plants were gathered from around the world under the banner of empire. Indeed, the garden dazzles the eye with sheer aesthetic variety. Eileen’s deep and patient looking has yielded taxonomies as well as an expanded visual vocabulary: she lists a dozen kinds of scented sweet peas in her sketchbook. Her sensitivity to the minor variation botanists find between species of flowers echoes her close attention to the shifting expressions in the faces of her sitters, and to even the minute changes wrought upon living green spaces by the passage of time and the intervention of people.

Extract from foreword: Eileen Hogan: Personal Geographies, Amy Meyers, published by Yale University Press 2019.

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Chelsea Physic Garden
oil wax and charcoal on panel, 57 x 75 cm
2022

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Chelsea Physic Garden 2, sprinkler
oil wax and charcoal on panel, 100 x 158 cm
2019

Routine is a frequent theme in Hogan’s work. Often, it’s the hidden subject: the answer to the question, what is going on in these paintings? Routine is going on. Much of what draws her to gardens is in the patterns of life they generate. Explicitly so at the Chelsea Physic Garden where what ignites her interest is the strict watering schedule. As the sprinklers are moved from section to section, they change the look and light of the garden, and the way people negotiate it.

Extract from Eileen Hogan: Artist-not-in-Residence by Nicola Shulman. Published by the Garden Museum, 2017

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Chelsea Physic Garden, mist
oil wax and charcoal on panel, 97 x 128 cm
2022

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Chelsea Physic Garden, wildflower meadow
oil wax and charcoal on panel 57 x 75 cm
2022, in progress

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Chelsea Physic Garden
etching, 37 x 45 cm
2018

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