Jenny Mace painting her beloved Desert Uplands flowering natives, with Nina House and Jenny Milson admiring and helping group up the completed artworks on the table behind

In 2007, Jenny Mace returned to her childhood hometown of Barcaldine, and soon after approached the Desert Uplands Committee to assist with gathering flowering specimens of our Desert Uplands native plants. Committee and many community members answered the call, along came the rains and soon many a flower was placed on Jenny’s doorstep for consequential painting. Jenny Milson, Rob Fensham and others were then tasked with correctly identifying each painting, from the painted specimen that Jenny then dried, pressed and posted.

The collection of finely detailed artworks grew, it was christened Desert Uplands Botanica, and soon an exhibition at the Queensland Herbarium happened. Funds were obtained for high resolution digital scanning and copying, so artwork prints professionally card-mounted could be easily hung, and to preserve these artworks. A selection of originals were framed, whilst other artworks were selected for cards and other reproductive merchandise.

The big wet of 2010-2013 enabled many native plants to bloom, so the collectors and Jenny were kept very busy. Various exhibitions were held across the region, with volunteers learning both exhibition skills and the scientific names of their flowering native in the process. A large exhibition was held in 2014 at the Hugh Sawrey Gallery at the Australian Stockmen’s Hall of Fame in Longreach. Officially opened by Ian Walker MP, the flowering pink heather was still abundant and graced the hall, with Ian’s wife Heather flying home with an abundant bouquet.

Now totalling over five hundred artworks, Jenny awaits another good wet season for the finding and painting of some of the less common Desert Uplands plant species flowering. Meanwhile ‘Flowers in the Dust’ has been published, a florilegium, a selection from this impressive collection of fine botanical paintings by Jenny Mace, in hardcover available from regional outlets.