Audrey Eagle, the 2009 recipient of the Allan Mere, receiving it from the NZ Botanical Society’s President, Anthony Wright, at an Otago Botanical Society monthly meeting in Dunedin. Photo: © Mike Thorsen.
The NZBS Committee is pleased to announce that the 2009 award of the Allan Mere is to Audrey Eagle.
Her nomination was from the Botanical Society of Otago, seconded by other botanical societies (Nelson, Wellington and Wanganui), and individuals (Shannel Courtney and Alan Mark).
A selection of comments below from the nominator and supporters indicate the strong feeling of support for Audrey throughout the botanical community of New Zealand.
Audrey Eagle has made a truly outstanding contribution to botany in New Zealand. For over 50 years she has unstintingly devoted her time to painting in meticulous detail, life-size where possible, the leaves, flowers and fruit of every native tree, shrub and climber known in New Zealand. To achieve this, and to assemble the most up-to-date botanically accurate information to accompany the drawings, she has enlisted the help of numerous botanists, both amateur and professional, and inspired hundreds more.
In her eight publications, which span 31 years, Audrey’s superb illustrations have increased the understanding of New Zealand’s botany and made it more accessible to all New Zealanders.
For more than 30 years Audrey has been both a pupil and teacher – a conduit for others knowledge as well as willingly passing on the results of her own observations of the New Zealand flora.
In her own way she has done much to increase the appreciation of the rich and diverse heritage we as New Zealanders can find around us.
…with nothing other than a few tubes of paint, fine brushes, a little porcelain palette, water, magnifying glass and natural light, Audrey created detailed and technically accurate paintings with a sensitivity that made them works of art.
Here is a woman who has devoted 50 years of her life illustrating New Zealand’s entire native woody flora. Such an outstanding feat will likely never be performed by anyone else in the future. We are all privileged beneficiaries of Audrey’s significant contribution to the understanding of New Zealand’s unique botanical heritage. Without reservation, Audrey deserves accolades from the botanical community for such an outstanding effort, and the Mere award is an entirely appropriate acknowledgement of that effort.
There could be no more worthy recipient of the New Zealand’s Botanical Society’s Allan Mere at this time.
Audrey is the eleventh recipient of the Mere since the NZBS was asked to administer the award in 1999.
The Allan Mere was presented to Audrey at the monthly Botanical Society of Otago meeting on 14th October 2009.
Anthony Wright, President, New Zealand Botanical Society