Kew Gardens submits planning application for summer exhibition

By Heather Nicholls

28th Feb 2024 | Local News

Kew Gardens submits planning application for summer exhibition. (Photo Credit: Planning Application).
Kew Gardens submits planning application for summer exhibition. (Photo Credit: Planning Application).

Kew Gardens has submitted a planning application for their summer exhibition. 

The application, submitted by Donald Insall Associates, on behalf of Kew Gardens, is to install 14 sculptures, by the artist Marc Quinn, in the eastern part of the Royal Botanic Gardens. 

Marc Quinn is a leading contemporary artist specializing in the human interaction with the world, identity, and social history.  

Since the early 1990s, Marc Quinn has exhibited internationally including the Tate Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Fondazione Prada, Milan, MACRO, Rome and the Musée Océanographique, Monaco. 

The sculptures will be installed in various areas around the garden and the exhibition will be open from May 2024 to October 2024. 

The sculptures are predominately formed of reflective metal sculptures to designs that have been inspired by significant plants from Kew's collection. 

The application says: "Marc Quinn has been closely involved with scientists and horticulturalists from Kew in the development of the sculptures for the exhibition." 

"The position of each sculpture has been carefully selected so as to emphasize the relationship between the sculptures and the landscape." 

See below for the fourteen proposed sculptures: 

The Burning Desire sculpture. (Photo Credit: Planning Application).

Burning Desire: 

This sculpture is formed in the shape of an orchid, painted a deep red.  

It is situated within the Japanese Garden. 

Orchids are plants of Asian origin and the juxtaposition with the pagoda will make people view the pagoda temporarily in a new light. 

Photosynthesis:

Photosynthesis sculpture. (Photo Credit: Planning Application).

This freestanding sculpture standing on a pedestal will be situated within the Central wing of the Temperate House

Held by Desire 1 and 2:

Held by Desire sculpture. (Photo Credit: Planning Application).

These two free-standing sculptures are to be situated internally within the north and south Octagons of the Temperate House.

Their design is representative of Juniper bonsai trees, patinated in a bronze finish.

Medicinal plants:

Medicinal plants sculpture. (Photo Credit: Planning Application).

These reflective leaf-shaped metallic sculptures are proposed to be situated outside the east entrance of the Temperate House.

Another will be situated immediatly outside the Shirley Sherwood Gallery.

The positioning of the distinctive reflective sculpture in this location signifies that the exhibition continues within the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, which therefore promotes the engagement of visitors with botanical art.

Sabal Palm:

The Sabal Palm sculpture. (Photo Credit: Planning Application).

This reflective metallic sculpture is proposed to be situated on the terrace on the western edge of the Pond.

It is a highly prominent position and will be seen by a lot of visitors.

As the sculpture has been shaped by a scan of a real Sabal palm leaf, from Kew's living collection, its situation on the lawn southeast of the Palm House would therefore offer a temporary enhancement to the visitor offer and encourage visitors to enjoy botanical art.

A second Sabal Palm will be situated to the Northeast of the Palm House.

Bismarkia Palm:

Bismarkia Palm. (Photo Credit: Planning Application).

This polished steel sculpture comprises reflective metal fronds, and is proposed to be situated on the terrace on the western edge of the Pond.

This sculpture has been formed from a scan of a real Bismarkia Palm from Kew's collection.

Sobrali:

Sobrali sculpture. (Photo Credit: Planning Application).

This reflective metal sculpture is proposed to be situated to the west of the Palm House (Grade I) within the Rose Garden, in the centre of the Syon Vista.

The Sobrali is an orchid that is native to Panama. Therefore its positioning adjacent to the Palm House on the primary vista would enhance the visitor offer, by promoting the knowledge of tropical botany in the setting of a historic landscape and tropical glasshouse.

Holy Ghost Orchid:



Holy Ghost Orchid sculpture. (Photo Credit: Planning Application).

This small metal sculpture is to be situated internally within the Princess of Wales Conservatory.

The Princess of Wales Conservatory houses many orchids, hence the careful situation of this orchid sculpture the purpose of the glasshouse and will enhance the visitor offer. 

The planning application says: "No harm would be caused to any of the heritage assets, due to the temporary nature of the sculptures, their high quality design by a world-renowned artist, and their careful positioning throughout the garden

 It adds that it enhances the visitor offer during the summer months.

 See the full application here.  

     

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