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'It won't be in vain': The only female botanical illustrator at LIPI shares hardship, passion

Theresia Sufa

The Jakarta Post

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Bogor, West Java  /  Tue, October 8, 2019  /  11:53 am
'It won't be in vain': The only female botanical illustrator at LIPI shares hardship, passion

Botanical illustrator Anne Kusumawaty at work in her office at the Herbarium Bogoriense of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences’ (LIPI) Biology Research Center in Cibinong, West Java. (JP/Theresia Sufa)

“I wasn’t blessed with a talent to draw. I learnt it by myself because I love my job.” Forty-year-old Anne Kusumawaty works at the Herbarium Bogoriense of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences’ (LIPI) Biology Research Center, being the only female botanical illustrator in the institution. Anne began working at LIPI in 2003 as a temporary employee in the collection department of the Indonesian Museum of Ethnobotany. She was tasked with identifying plants that were just collected from nature, drying them and preserving them on paper using a mounting technique. Seeing how Anne worked with the plants, the then-illustrator at the office, Isaac, offered Anne to continue his work as he was about to retire. Botanical illustration, along with its artistic component, is considered an integral part to understand plant morphology. “I was baffled when I got...