Anita Barley is a professional botanical artist. After completion of a Diploma in Graphic Design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology she commenced work as a botanical illustrator with the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne in 1977, a role she performed for 16 years. Her work is published in the illustrated Flora of Victoria project, the Flora of Australia, other scientific and Government papers, and various projects.
After departing from the botanic gardens in 1992 she has continued to work freelance, providing illustrations for publications, together with commissioned botanical and nature-based paintings. Anita began teaching botanical illustration at Burnley Horticultural College in 1986, and played a key role in the formation of the Friends of RBG botanical classes and exhibitions. She has twice been awarded the Celia Rosser Medal (2002, 2006) in recognition of the quality of her detailed botanical artworks and her sustained contributions to ‘The Art of Botanical Illustration’.
Having lived at Woodend in country Victoria for 23 years, Anita relocated with her family to Kew Gardens in London in 2013, where she continues to produce extraordinarily detailed botanical and nature-themed artwork, including for Kew’s scientific papers and Curtis’s Botanical Magazine. In October 2013, she was elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. In 2016, Anita was awarded the prestigious Jill Smythies Award for Botanical Illustration by the Linnean Society.