Private View of the photography exhibition, Wildflowers For The Queen, followed by an in-conversation with photographer Hugo Rittson-Thomas and Ian Dunn, CEO of Plantlife.
Meadows are crucial to Britain’s biodiversity and an astonishing 97% of wildflower meadowland has been lost in a single century. The charity Plantlife has led the creation of 5,000 hectares of wildflower-rich meadows since 2013 – including 90 meadows to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, in a campaign initiated by Prince Charles. These meadows have inspired photographer Hugo Rittson-Thomas to create the photos currently hanging in the Nave at the Garden Museum.
This talk will delve into the inspirations behind Hugo’s wildflower exhibition and takes a closer look at the botanical diversity under our noses.
Hugo Rittson-Thomas is a British nature, interiors and portrait photographer. He started his career after studying Fine Art at Central St.Martin’s and Goldsmiths University of London, and took part in the landmark exhibition Temple of Diana alongside Tracey Emin at The Blue Gallery in 1999.
He photographed Her Majesty The Queen, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duchess of Cornwall for his book The Queen’s People which was published by Assouline in 2016. Other notable portraits include the Dalai Lama, David Cameron, Kylie Minogue and Sting.
Hugo has photographed six books: Secret Gardens of the Cotswolds (2015), Great Gardens of London (2015), The Queen’s People (2016), Secret Gardeners: Britain’s Creatives Reveal Their Private Sanctuaries (2017), Wildflowers for the Queen (2021) and English Country House Style (2021).
He lives in Oxfordshire with his wife Silka Rittson-Thomas.
Ian Dunn is the Chief Executive of Plantlife International – The Wild Plant Conservation charity having joined in early 2020 after a four year stint as Chief Operating Officer at the University of Southampton. Previously, Ian was the Chief Executive of the Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT), and before GCT, Ian was on the management team of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
Prior to joining BAS, Ian spent nearly 25 years in business. With wide-ranging international executive experience, Ian has headed up global business portfolios including as CEO of a leading company in Japan. Ian has worked on all continents and has been a board member of companies across Europe, Asia, Middle East and South America; fulfilling these roles living in Japan, Brazil and continental Europe as well as the UK.
Ian holds a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Sciences, a MBA and in 2014 was awarded a distinction for a Masters in Studies of Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University. Ian is deputy Chair of the Scottish Association of Marine Science and is Honorary Treasurer of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. He is a qualified yoga teacher and is re-engaging with his creative side through oil painting and writing.