Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death
On view at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, inside the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
If you get the chance to visit Kew Gardens before Sunday 11th March 2018, it’s worth making time to visit the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, where you’ll be able to view Rebecca Louise Law’s latest art installation ‘Life in Death’. This is an immersive experience, which allows visitors the opportunity to venture through a thousand garlands made using delicate copper wire, which has been twisted and entwined with flowers, seed heads, fruits, and natural materials, which combine to create Law’s largest investiture to date.
For me, as I moved through this exhibit, it filled me with feelings of wonder, contentment, and peace. Flowers and plants accompany us at every stage of our lives, so ‘Life in Death’ evokes many memories and emotions. ‘Life in Death’ reminded me of life and death, but in such a positive way! ‘Life in Death’ made me think of the delight and celebration at every stage of our lives. This art installation reminded me of childhood. ‘Life in Death’ brought me a sense of the relaxing joy, the sheer bliss that being in a meadow brings. It reminded me of exploring fields, evoking feelings of wonder, happiness, and contentment.
My experience of ‘Life in Death’ brought back memories of weddings, celebrations, traditions and rituals, delivering emotions of exploration, joy, wonder, purity, and optimism. My visit left me with a feeling of a happy escape, a sense of contentment, and a feeling of joy and delight!
This exhibit’s creator, Rebecca Louise Law, has a passionate interest in the process of natural change and preservation. Rebecca allows her work to evolve, letting time and nature to take its course to age and change the colours and form of the materials she uses, to showcase an alternative concept of beauty. The floral materials used in ‘Life in Death’ were collected by Rebecca over a ten year period.
Rebecca Louise law: Life in Death is currently installed inside the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. This art installation is open for visitors until Sunday 11th March 2018, I hope you’ll get the opportunity to visit!
Kew Staff and Volunteers
I am constantly impressed by the staff and the volunteers that work at Kew Gardens. Whichever area of Kew that I have visited, my visit has been made all the more lovelier thanks to the knowledge and enthusiasm of those that work at Kew. My recent visit to the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, to see Rebecca Louise Law’s intricate floral art installation was greatly enhanced by Kew Volunteer Sue Vernon. Sue very kindly showed me Rebecca Louise Law’s floral art exhibit ‘Life in Death’, and told me a great many interesting details about Rebecca Louise Law’s latest creation, which I have been able to share with you. Thank you Sue!
Kew Volunteer, Sue Vernon informed me that a thousand garlands were used to create ‘Life in Death’! Rebecca Louise Law, along with her team, took around six months to put all of the plant material used for this installation together, and then Rebecca spent five days hanging it at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, at Kew.
The thousand garlands are comprised of over three hundred and seventy-five thousand individual flowers! When the great big boxes which were filled with the flowers for Rebecca Louise Law’s art installation arrived at Kew, they were sent straight to Kew’s dry freezer, and frozen, to ensure that the flowers and plant material were free from any pests or disease.
Sue told me that artist Rebecca Louise Law hates waste, she never wastes anything. Rebecca has reused flowers from her previous installations in this one – Rebecca never wastes anything and she will likely re-use whatever she can from ‘Life in Death’ in her future installations.
Life in Death
Inspired by Kew’s ancient herbarium specimens of floral garlands, which were found in Egyptian tombs, and date from 700BC, Rebecca Louise Law named this art installation ‘Life in Death’. Visitors to the Shirley Sherwood Gallery can view a showcase displaying these ancient garlands from the Petrie museum collection.
More to see at Kew Gardens
There’s so much to see at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew! Rebecca Louise Law’s art installation, ‘Life in Death’ is stationed inside the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art until Sunday the 11th March 2018. The Thailand themed Orchid Festival is held in the Princess of Wales Conservatory until Sunday 11th March 2018, but don’t forget to visit the Palm House, the Arboretum, the Treetop Walkway, The Hive, the Marianne North Gallery, the Grass Garden, Holly Walk, the lake, the Mediterranean Garden, the Kitchen Garden, the Queen’s Garden, and the Davies Alpine House, as well as the rest of the gardens!
Kew Orchid Festival Thailand!
If you’re interested in seeing more photographs of the 2018 Orchid Festival, which this year has the theme of Thailand, and wish to learn more about this interesting event at Kew, please click here for all the details.
If you’d like to see more photographs of the orchids that featured in the 2018 Orchid Festival at Kew, please click here.
If you’d like to learn more about Master Florist Henck Röling and his work at Kew’s Orchid Festivals, please click here.
International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition
From Saturday the 10th February 2018, to Sunday 11th March 2018, The International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition (IGPOTY) is open to visitors inside the Nash Conservatory, which is just inside the Elizabeth Gate, at Kew. Entry to this exhibition is included in your entrance fee, and of course, entry is free for Friends of Kew. The Nash Conservatory is wheelchair accessible with a seating area, where you can look through books of this year’s and the previous years’ best photographs from the IGPOTY Competition.
Access for disabled visitors at Kew Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew are the most accessible gardens that I have visited. The gardens at Kew stretch to 300 acres (121 hectares), and feature a great many paths and routes around the gardens; nearly all of these paths are wide, allowing disabled visitors the chance to visit the gardens with their friends or family, rather than in front, or behind them, as is so often the case when visiting gardens with narrower paths. The paths at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, are wide and mostly level, without too great an incline, or any steep, inaccessible areas. The paths around Kew Gardens are are also smooth, making them much easier and more comfortable for wheelchair users to travel over. There are less trip hazards for those that are not as good at walking as they would like, and many benches, with seats at a sensible, and ‘easy to get up out of’ height, stationed around the gardens.
Kew have made access for disabled visitors a fundamental priority, and as a consequence disabled visitors can enjoy visiting all areas of the gardens, even the treetop walk way, which is 18 meters (60ft) above the gardens, in amongst the trees!
There’s an automatic door to the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, which is wide enough for easy access for wheelchairs. Everything inside this gallery is on one level.
The lift to the Marianne North Gallery was not working at the time of my visit in February 2018. I hope that this lift will be fixed soon, but if you’re unable to use the stairs and particularly want to visit the Marianne North Gallery, then you may wish to enquire and check that the lift to this gallery is working before you visit. Please also check that the treetop walkway lift is working if you’re unable to take the 118 steps to the top and this is an area of the gardens that you particularly wish to visit.
Savings on Ticket Prices to visit ‘Life in Death’ at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew:
If you book your ticket for your visit to Kew online, you can make a saving on your entry fee, for all the details, please click here.
Entrance to Kew Gardens, which includes entry to the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, entry to the Marianne North Gallery, entry to Kew’s Orchid Festival in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, the Palm House, and the 300 acres of gardens and arboretum, is free for Friends of Kew.
Friends of Kew also enjoy free entry to Kew Gardens, in Surrey, as well as free entry to Wakehurst Place, in West Sussex, during opening times. To find out how to become a friend of Kew, please click here.
To head over to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s website, please click here.
Other articles that may interest you……..
To see photographs and find out more about Kew’s 2018 Orchid Festival, which has the theme of Thailand, please click here.
To read about Master Florist Henck Röling and his work at Kew, please click here.
For a calendar of snowdrop garden open days, snowdrop events, please click here.
To see photographs of Kew’s 2017 Orchid Festival, which had the theme of India, please click here.
To see photographs of the largest known orchid species and this orchid’s flowering at Kew, please click here.
To see photographs of Christmas at Kew and discover more about visiting Kew in winter, please click here.