As if you needed another reason to go to Kew Gardens, for the next three weeks you can visit the gardens and also see the Contemporary Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition Sculpt at Kew. With over 80 sculptures by more than 30 artists, mainly from the UK, but also from the USA, France, Bulgaria and Belgium, this is the first time the Royal Botanical Garden is hosting this exhibition, but I really hope it won’t be the last.
(Click on the individual images to enlarge and for details of sculptures)
Sculpt at Kew is beautifully curated and it brings together a plethora of art which needs space, and space is something Kew Gardens has a lot of. It is the perfect setting and it is an absolutely joy walking around the gardens, spotting the sculptures among the trees and bushes, getting close to them and being able to see them from every angle, from near and further away.
The sculptures span styles from classic to contemporary, figurative to abstract, with many inspired by flora and fauna. There are giant windflowers and seeds, birds, turtles, moths, horses, a bear, an otter, swans, cheetahs and even a life sized ostrich waiting to be discovered, along with ballerinas, faces, dancers, druids and musical instruments. Materials include steel and marble, wood and bronze, glass and clay. Explore at random or follow the pre-set route, rounding every corner of the North end of the gardens reveals a new surprise. You might start imagining what they would look like in your own garden, and the good news is – they are for sale. If you don’t have a garden (or the money), there is also a dedicated shop selling indoor sculptures.
I will definitely try and re-visit as I went to the opening evening and, with the light fading, I didn’t get to see all the sculptures before it turned too dark. I also want to go and see Kew decked out in autumn colours, the foliage of some of the trees was already turning yellow and red. Beautiful! Oh, and I will definitely revisit The Hive, such a beautiful and inspirational place; the closest you can get to be right inside an actual bee hive.
Sculpt at Kew is on until October 15th. The exhibition is included in your entrance ticket to the gardens. The sculptures are dotted around the Northern end of the Gardens, so Elizabeth Gate on Kew Green is the best starting point for visiting to see Sculpt.
Kew’s autumn festival Artful Autumn runs from October 7th to 29th.
To find out more and to buy tickets visit www.kew.org