Born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1956, Alison Turnbull studied in Madrid before graduating from Bath Academy of Art in 1981. In 2002 she won a scholarship to the British School at Rome, where she became intrigued by the city’s botanical garden. She has since worked in a number of botanical gardens across the world, taking inspiration from them and architectural plans to investigate the classification and organisation of plant collections.
Turnbull divides plants and colours into separate sections according to their genetic structure to make paintings, prints and drawings of garden plans in which these plant families, transposed into neat little boxes, speak of evolution and inheritance. Digging beneath this code, she seeks to unearth a history of botanical taxonomy whilst acknowledging the pleasure we feel when looking at beautiful flowers and gardens. She lives and works in London.