Mary Comber Miles at the Tofino Botanical Gardens
A show of new paintings by renowned artist Mary Comber Miles will be
opening at Tofino Botanical Gardens on April 17, 2004. This group of
25 new works focuses on plants native to the temperate rainforests
of Chile, Tasmania and New Zealand.
Miles’ work has been exhibited in individual and group shows
in Britain, the United States and throughout Canada. Her work is regularly
displayed at botanical gardens throughout North America and appears
in many important public and private collections of botanical art.
We feel very proud that Mary has chosen tbg to exhibit these new works”,
said George Patterson, director of Tofino Botanical Gardens. “The
pure beauty of these paintings will appeal to a broad audience. They
possess a quality of grace in their line, colour and form that is truly
marvelous. Mary’s paintings place her in a long line of great
botanical artists who have been able to take scientifically precise
illustrations and add several layers of passion and affection to achieve
the highest kind of artistic accomplishment.”
Horticulturally, this show is an important event for gardeners on
the west coast. Miles has focused on plants that she feels can be grown
successfully in our unique conditions. “Tofino Botanical Gardens
offers a unique Cloud Forest climate with little or no frost. Already
quite a few specimens of Southern Hemisphere plants are part of its
collection, and there is potential here to preserve more of these lovely
species out of their threatened natural habitats.” Miles said.
The Tofino Botanical Gardens Foundation has adopted the protocols of
Botanic Gardens Conservation International and is committed to assisting
the world wide effort to halt the alarming rate of plant extinction.
There is also a powerful historical resonance with this exhibition.
Mary’s father, the late Harold Comber, was a distinguished plant
collector and horticulturist who traveled extensively in South America
seeking new shrubs and trees that had the potential to do well in England.
Comber made two six-month expeditions to the Andes in 1925-26 and 1926-27.
Many of Comber’s collections on these expeditions have become
well known garden plants, enjoyed by millions. Seventy years later,
Mary followed her father’s route and painted many of the plants
he had collected. In 1930, Comber was invited to collect plants in
Tasmania which occupied him for twelve months. Again, Mary traced her
father’s footsteps producing another collection of paintings.
In 2003, Mary visited New Zealand to paint a collection of native plants.
The paintings in this show are a selection of the work produced on
This exhibition is very important for the Gardens,” says George
Patterson, “Mary Comber Miles has been very supportive of our
efforts to develop ‘comparative botany’ gardens that will
help people understand the richness and diversity of plants throughout
the world. Mary’s travels, her dedication and artistic talent,
combined with her commitment to horticulture and conservation, allow
her to commu- nicate her vision to a very large, broad audience. The
plants she has selected to present in this show will become the focus
of our acquisition efforts over the next few years.”
There will be a reception for the artist from 2:00 pm to 4:00
pm on Sunday the 17th of April, at the Café Pamplona, Tofino
Botanical Gardens. The show will remain at the Tofino Botanical Gardens through July.
Mary Comber Miles will be opening her art show at the Tofino Botanical Gardens on April 17, 2004 in Tofino.