Kew Gardens has been filled with dazzling outdoor sculptures

A new collaboration with scientists at Kew sees Marc Quinn go manically botanical

Eddy Frankel
Written by
Eddy Frankel
Art & Culture Editor
Marc Quinn Installation Photography
Burning Desire by Marc Quinn at Kew Gardens. (c) RBG Kew. Photo by Ines Stuart-Davidson

Marc Quinn, an artist whose work is enough to give you a bloody headache, has just unveiled a series of huge new outdoor sculptures at Kew Gardens. 

The former Fourth Plinther and popsicle pioneer’s new work –  all created in collaboration with the scientists at Kew – is an exploration of the links between nature and humanity, how plants and people exist in an untangleable symbiotic relationship.

The bulk of the work takes the form of outdoor sculptures, many of which are inspired by Kew’s plants. There are huge gleaming palm fronds, a five metre tall bonsai and sculptures based on medicinal plants, mostly positioned out in the grounds of the estate with one work in their vast greenhouse. The rest of the show is made up of older works in Kew’s Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art.

‘The complex science of plants has always - and continues to - inspire my thinking as an artist,’ says Quinn. ‘As humans we are not isolated from our environments; we interact and exist within them as a part of nature. Collaborating with Kew, a world-class centre of botanical research, and its team of scientists and horticulturists, has underlined how integral the natural world is to my practice.’ 

Marc Quinn: ‘Light Into Life’ is at Kew Gardens, May 4-Sep 29. More details here.

Want more? Here are the top ten exhibitions in London.

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