Kew Botanical Gardens - February 2014
While visiting London I took a trip to Kew Botanical Gardens. The weather was brisk, dry with the occasional sunny warm moments, perfect weather for a stroll.
After taking in the Orchid Collection, Palm House and the Tree Walk around the Japanese Garden with Gate and Pagoda, which were all wonderful. I was on my way back to visit the Garden Photographer of the year Exhibition when I seen the Marianne North Gallery.
I had never came across Marianne North before but decided to take a look. Upon entering the vestibule I read about Marianne and was instinctively in awe. Marianne artist and intrepid traveller who visited seventeen countries stretching five continents from 1871 - 1885 painting 1000 species. There were many similarities! Once inside the Victorian building I was overwhelmed, the walls were full of brightly coloured paintings surrounded with gold borders and black lacquered frames. The decorative work above the paintings and the tiled decorative floor could not take away the essence of the images but enhanced them. There were so many images that your eyes cannot focus on just one, but continuously wander from one image to the next. All while sitting enjoying the fine art I could hear the birds singing, transporting me to the far off lands where these impressionable images were painted. I was overcome with emotion seeing such works of art.
Marianne has captured in the paintings what I like to capture now with Photography - far off lands, nature at its best. The flora and fauna to be recorded forever from that moment in time which will never come again.
If you get the opportunity to visit Kew I would highly recommend it! It is very accessible from central London on the District Line towards Richmond.