We are delighted to be hosting the launch screening of The Adventures of Richard Spruce, a highly innovative and evocative animated graphic novel by Gemma Burditt, which tells a truly remarkable story about a little known botanical explorer Richard Spruce . This intrepid explorer made huge leaps in the botanical understanding of the Amazon region collecting over 7000 new species and made a key contribution in cultivating the quinine bark in the Amazon which was the first antidote in the prevention and cure of malaria.
Told in the first person from original quotes from Spruce’s journals and letters, the story recounts how he endured impossible conditions, narrowly avoided civil war and struggled with a series of illnesses both real and imagined.
Audiences can explore Spruce’s findings in a visual and experiential journey of this determined hypochondriac whose obsessional eye for detail, passion for botany made him one of the largest contributors towards 19th Century Pharmacy and the botanical sciences.
Gemma Burditt is an animation director and illustrator of short films and music videos. Gemma’s work examines human stories and how individuals negotiate their personal journeys through changes in the wider context, changes in political situations or conflict in personal truth versus societal expectations.