FIVE paintings by celebrated Australian botanical artist Celia Rosser feature in Australia Post’s latest stamp issue.
Now based in Fish Creek, where the Celia Rosser Gallery displays prints of her work, Ms Rosser was Monash University’s botanical artist from 1974 to 1999.
Working alongside Australian botanist and banksia specialist Alex George, Ms Rosser produced scientifically accurate and highly detailed illustrations of banksia species.
Her impressive 25-year work on the project culminated in a three-volume publication of her life-sized artworks, titled ‘The Banksias’ and earned Ms Rosser an honorary Master of Science in 1981 and an honorary PhD in 1999 from Monash University.
She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1995 for her services to botanical art.
The stamps and mini-sheet in this issue feature Banksia speciosa (Showy Banksia) 1977, Banksia grossa 1977, Banksia coccinea (Scarlet Banksia) 1974, and Banksia cuneata (Quairading Banksia) 1995.
An additional work, Banksia baxteri (Baxter’s Banksia) 1976 features on the stamp minisheet.
Ms Rosser said painting the banksias in all their intricate detail “drove [her] mad” at times and she almost gave up when it came to the Banksia Coccinea, but a colleague by the name of Dr George Scott helped her see the flower in a new way by cutting it in half.
She says she’s “thrilled” that Australia Post has created this stamp issue to celebrate the beauty and durability of banksias.
“Banksias are a great love of mine. They capture something really special about Australia.
“I’m happy that the stamps will educate people about what beautiful plants we’ve got in Australia. We’re very lucky.”
Stamp collectors may already be familiar with Celia’s work, through her incredible illustrations for the 1981 Australian Fungi stamp issue and the 1987 Cocos (Keeling) Islands stamp issue that depicted the life-cycle of the coconut.
Celia’s beautiful banksia illustrations also featured on a series on pre-stamped envelopes, in 1996.
The Banksias stamp issue is available online, at participating Post Offices and via mail order on 1800 331 794, while stocks last.