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Autumn festival at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew



September 21, 2017

Kew Temple of Bellona in autumn. Photo RBG Kew.

Kew Gardens will celebrate the season of fiery colour with a brand new festival this autumn featuring amazing immersive and botanical art, and major sculptural exhibitions.

Kew’s artful autumn will celebrate the season’s colour and beauty. British artist, Rebecca Louise Law, will unveil a giant hanging installation of 375,000 flowers in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery. The work titled ‘Life in Death’ is inspired by Kew’s 1300BC ancient Egyptian dried flowers, and anyone having seen Law’s creative installations will recognise her signature style of individually sewn suspended flower garlands. Accompanying her mesmerising sculpture will be a rare public display of Kew’s fragile and beautiful ancient Egyptian wreaths draped over mummies and coffins which accompanied the dead to the afterlife.

Rebecca Louise Law, Fashion and Gardens exhibition at The Garden Museum, London. Photo RBG Kew.

The Hated Flower display by Rebecca Louise Law at The Coningsby Gallery, London. Photo RBG Kew.


The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art will also play host the ‘Plantae Amazonicae’ exhibition. A collaborative project between the artist Lindsay Sekulowicz and Kew’s Science team, with new artworks accompanying and illuminating Kew’s collections from the Amazon rainforest (poison arrows to barkcloth clothing).


In the Kew landscape, 16 new artworks will be on display outside the galleries and in parts of Kew’s Arboretum. The work of four celebrated artists, the pieces will be site-specific, responding to Kew’s evolving landscapes, and mostly made from natural materials. Visitors can weave between the works, from the calm waves of Nigel Ross’ organic, wooden seating sculptures, to the curling, abstract forms of Julia Clarke’s pieces, the natural figurative sculptures of Woody Fox Willow, and the mesmerising fungal art works of Claudia Wegner.


Sculpt at Kew, also on show during the festival, is a contemporary sculpture exhibition in the Gardens, with sculptures in a range of media including ceramics, bronze, glass, marble and woodwork by over 30 renowned artists. Launching for the first time this autumn and organised with Kew’s partners at Handmade in Britain, the inaugural exhibition features renowned British and international artists and is set to become a popular fixture on London’s art calendar.

Orangery in autumn at Kew Gardens. Photo RBG Kew.


Captivating artworks are not the only thing happening in the Gardens, with a brilliant show of autumn foliage to marvel at amongst Kew’s 14,000 trees. The rustic reds of Kew’s New England maples and the vivid yellows of the Asian Sorbus are to be found along the self-guided autumn colour trail.


The RBG Kew Autumn Festival runs from 7 to 29 October 2017.

‘Sculpt at Kew’ runs from 18 September to 15 October 2017.


CLICK HERE for further details about the extensive program of events and activities during the Kew Gardens Autumn Festival.

Watercolour on paper by Ann Schweizer, Pomegranates Punica granatum. Photo RBG Kew.


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