Exhibition on Ellen Hutchins for UCC

October 28th, 2018 6:35 PM

By Southern Star Team

Historical re-enactor, Carrie O'Flynn, in costume from the early 1800s (Ellen's time) during the Ellen Hutchins Festival in August, at the Whiddy Island Seaweed event. (Photo: Clare Heardman)

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By Phoebe Hogan

AN exhibition on the work of botanist Ellen Hutchins is taking place in UCC.

The exhibition will showcase the life and work of Ellen from Ballylickey, who was Ireland’s first female botanist. 

The exhibition can be found on the ground floor of the Boole Library, from now until Friday December 21st.

The exhibition’s opening times are from Monday to Friday at 8am, and Saturday and Sunday from 10am. 

Ellen Hutchins was born in Ballylickey in 1785, but focused her work on Bantry bay. She was advised to take up the study of a branch of natural history as a hobby by Dr Stokes, a family friend. He recommended botany to Hutchins as it was his own specialism. This is what started her on the way to being Ireland’s first female botanist. 

Hutchins was a determined and curious young woman. In her botany career, she specialised in seaweeds, lichens, mosses and liverworts and was a part of a specialist community of botanists studying non-flowering plants. 

The exhibition has a selection of Hutchins’ beautifully detailed watercolour drawings of seaweeds, and her plant specimens. Hutchins’ letters, as well as objects and books, help to tell her story. The event features wonderful photographs of Bantry bay, Glengarriff Woods and the special plants found in the area. There will also be workshops on botanical art and talks about her Cork connections being held during the exhibition. 

See for more. Admission to the exhibition is free and all are welcome.

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