I had a 'date' at Kew Gardens on Monday, and I spent a wonderful day strolling around the brilliant exhibition of sculpture by David Nash. Above and below is one of the mounds he created from cork bark. I loved the way that the light changed it's colours and shadows as I walked around it, giving it a unique texture from the different angles.
One of the reasons I went on my 'date', to Kew, was to fulfil one of the weekly tasks that I've been invited to do as part of a workshop I'm taking part in. It's The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron, which she designed as a way to help those of us who want to get in touch with, or unblock our creativity. The twelve week course, requires that we take part in a two hour 'date' by ourselves each week. It can be anything that you wouldn't normally do by yourself, but which is fun, and often playful. I often do things or go places by myself, but this visit to Kew was something I had been wanting to do for a long time, and which I would normally do with a friend. As you can see from the photos, it was a gloriously sunny day, such a treat after all the grey skies of late.
Although I really loved Nash's large sculptures, I especially liked his smaller pieces that are on display in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery. He has been 'Artist in Residence' since last year, and has been studying the fruits, seeds, bark and even the cellular structure of wood whilst there. These studies have informed his smaller pieces too, and some of them look so fragile and delicate, reminding me of sea shells.
Nash was also influenced by a piece of Aboriginal art from the Kew archives, and subsequently scorched parallel lines into some of his smaller sculptures. The wall hanging below is so simple, but is one of my favourite pieces.
There are also some larger sculptures in the Temperate House, set amongst the wonderful foliage. I particularly liked the two spoon like piece below, which he has also 'scorched' to give it it's black appearance.
This was also a favourite of mine, half hidden behind large leaves, and reminded me of a giant tadpole, or water creature!
Of course, I also wandered through some of the giant glasshouses, and took plenty of photographs. I particularly enjoyed the wonderful reflections of the Victorian glasshouse structures, seen in the small pools.
I can't resist including this Prickly Pear, it's one of my favourites, probably because of the shapes it makes as it grows, with the fruits sprouting from around the edges. I have a textile piece that I still haven't finished, inspired by this wonderful plant.
I can thoroughly recommend a visit to Kew, and especially while the David Nash exhibiton is there. Not for much longer though, it finishes on 14th April, so maybe you could also make a 'date' to visit this spring!