The LV & UV Art & Photography Trip to Kew Gardens

The LV & UV Art & Photography students enjoyed a fabulous visit to beautiful Kew Gardens in London this week.

We began by visiting the incredible Rebecca Louise Law installation, created for Kew and celebrating sculptural quality and lasting nature of 375,000 beautifully preserved blooms, in the Marianne North Gallery. Students experienced the artwork by following a path way created through the installation, which was both beautiful and hypnotising in design and scents.

Following this, students experienced the exhibition Abundance: Seeds, Pods, and Autumn Fruits by Dr Shirley Sherwood, a seasonal selection of beautiful contemporary botanical paintings. This led on to The Shirley Sherwood Gallery Botanical Art, an outstanding collection of work from travels around the world. After students collated an abundance of inspirational research. We then all followed the Artful Autumn trail where students had the opportunity to photograph and sketch the library of trees, exceptional landscape and discover the Environmental Art along the Cedar Vista of 16 diverse and organic works of art by four different artists, set amongst some of Kews most spectacular trees in their autumn glory. The artists exhibiting were: Julia Clark – Willow Sculptures, Woody Fox Willow – The Treelinds, Nigel Ross – Wooden Seating Sculptures, Claudia – Fungi Fascination.

During the Autumn in Colour Trail, Photography & Art students chased a world of colour through the trees of Kew following the work sheets provided, applying and experimenting with recent skills and techniques learnt.

We all congregated at Palm House with its elegant exterior and steamy interior of tropical rain forests, where we picnicked by the lake with our packed lunch and seized a well needed coffee from the Victoria Plaza cafe.

After lunch we all entered the Palm House, thick humidity and beautiful spiral staircase leading to a high vantage point of the tropical rain forest. Whilst we worked inside, the weather began to change outside. The wild winds and darkening sky from the tail end of Hurricane Ophelia was blowing over head as we made our way to The Princess of Wales Conservatory.

Students enjoyed the opportunity to sketch and take close up photographs of exotic plants and aquatic display. Some Photographers also managed to visit the woodland garden and winter garden.

As we gathered outside the weather had turned from an unusually warm sunny autumnal day into a dramatic almost apocalyptic finale. The sky darkened and reddened with an eerie yellow hue from the Sahara sands. The birds fell silent and the wind tore the golden leaves from the branches in a violent tug of war. Time and the weather was against us, so the Treetop walk was unfortunately abandoned for the haven of the beautiful shop, where students and staff purchased card and books, before boarding the coach to return to St Mary’s. An exhausted, but full filled group of young ladies who were outstanding ambassadors for the school.
By Ms Bridger

St Mary's Shaftesbury-The LV & UV Art & Photography Trip to Kew Gardens 1

Mrs Karamena’s Story:
For the LV Art students the Kew gardens presented a major creative challenge. It simply was too good and presented such variety of inspiration for the currently studied theme ‘Natural Form’, that the skill of artistic discrepancy had to be put in action when sourcing ideas for the project. In other words, there was not a section in Kew gardens that left anyone uninspired.

Everyone was unanimously overwhelmed by Rebecca Louise Law’s flower installation inspired by Egyptian art and ethnobotany at Shirley Sherwood Gallery and decidedly left with the idea to start collecting plants in order to create a sculpture in her style. The grounds, abundant with contemporary sculpture and species of plants and trees from all over the world both outdoors and in green houses, provided a lot of research material for the students.

Studying the Kew grounds methodically and thoughtfully, quipped with sketchbook and cameras, St Mary’s group at some point really appeared like an art expedition akin to that of Marianne North whose work we viewed in the Kew galleries on our arrival.

Our trip culminated with a drawing session in the tranquil Prince of Wales Conservatory. We marched back to the coach under the surreally beautiful stormy sky which made everyone very excited (true artists!) with sketchbooks full of drawings and ideas and cameras full of photographs.

The LV will be holding an exhibition of their fantastic work from the trip, later this term.
Shaftesbury Arts Centre (TBC) and displayed in the BCR at St Mary’s.

Thank you to Mr Taylor, Mrs Karamenova, Mrs Flower, Ms Banneel and Ms Bridger for a memorable trip.