What’s On: Rebecca Louise Law's Life in Death @ Kew Gardens

by Megan Fatharly

Rebecca Louise Law’s exhibition Life in Death is currently on display at Kew Gardens in London until the start of March 2018. The exhibition is placed within the Shirley Sherwood Gallery amongst a collection of beautiful Botanical drawings and collections. Upon entering the exhibition (it was my first time at Kew Gardens so I didn’t know what to expect), the work showcases more than 370,000 dead flowers and organic matter all suspended on garlands that fill the room. The viewer is invited to walk around the space appreciating each individual fragment of nature that is lined up and creates a new existing organic structure within a new environment.

"The sensual elements of the installation are beautiful in capturing the fragility and form of nature"

When first walking through the exhibition there is an apparent path that the viewer follows around, but it was easy to get lost amongst the floating flowers and appreciate the intricacies. There was background noise of some kind of machine or audio from another section of the gallery that myself and my friend Jess thought was part of the exhibition. It complimented the stillness and poignancy of the work, showing the everyday continues amongst the gallery space. The work pays homage to how plants are expertly persevered throughout Kews’ collections. It represents a symbol of natural durability that is a motif recurrent and central to Laws practice.

The sensual elements of the installation are beautiful in capturing the fragility and form of nature. This is captivated by how other elements of the organic matter are influenced by lighting within the gallery to create shadows that dance on the wall as the plants twist and interact with their surroundings. This complimentary approach to seeing something physical like the organic structures contrasted with the shapes of the shows added another dimension to the interactive elements of the installation.  There is something poignant about the relationship between the flowers and the shadows they form. A hint at death and how they have been preserved in a moment is hauntingly beautiful.

Life In Death is at Kew Gardens until Marth 11 2018, book tickets here. 

Photo of Rebecca Louise Law's Exhibition is courtesy of Kew.org

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