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Branch Out | Maria Bell-Salter & Anna McNay In conversation

This talk with Maria Bell-Salter & Anna McNay is part of the Garden Museum's new Branch Out programme, a series of free events and activities exploring gardening, art, floristry, plant science, history, design, and more!

The word fruition signifies the realisation or fulfilment of a plan, or, from the late Middle English, means to enjoy or to delight in. To Maria Bell-Salter, gardens, however ‘natural’ they may appear, are a product of our own creation, one we have made to bring pleasure to ourselves and others as they mature and bloom.

In conversation with art writer Anna McNay, Bell-Salter will discuss how her painted flowers, which always take as their subject living plants and blossoms, similarly ‘mature and bloom’, as opposed to those in the longstanding genre of flower painting, which typically depict still-life bouquets. In this sense, Bell-Salter’s works are more akin to Impressionist landscapes, and she will talk about these and other inspirations and influences, as well as her process.

Maria Bell-Salter: Fruition is currently on show at the Garden Museum until 17 March.

Our Branch Out programme has been made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England


  • Maria Bell-Salter

    Maria Bell-Salter

    Maria Bell-Salter is a London based artist. She paints in oils on canvas or linen with the spirit of plein-air painting at the heart of her work. Born in Guyana and brought up in New York and London, she attended Middlebury College and the University of Paris and has an MA in French and an MA in the History of Art with a focus on the French Impressionists. Self taught as an artist, she has painted since the mid 1990s, exhibiting in the United States, living in Paris and showing with galleries on the Rue de Seine and Avenue Matignon before returning to London and her English roots.

    Patron of several arts institutions, a committed fundraiser and advocate for art, Bell-Salter was London Regional Chairman of the Art Fund, chairing their London Committee from 2006-19. She is co-founder, Trustee and Chair of ARTscapades and is a Trustee and Steering Committee Chair of the UK Friends of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA).

  • Anna McNay

    Anna McNay

    Anna McNay is a writer, editor and international curator, who contributes regularly to a variety of print and online art and photography journals, including Studio International, Art Quarterly, The Flux Review and Photomonitor, as well as exhibition catalogues and books. She lectures and hosts panels and in conversation events at galleries, art schools and online. Areas of special interest include mental health and the benefits of integrating art into therapy. She is autistic and her support dog Parsley accompanies her everywhere. #TheCriticWithTheDog

Image: Maria Bell-Salter The Source of the Rainbow, oil on canvas 91x122cm