Celebrating Kew's 250th anniversary at Wakehurst Place
Two special exhibitions are opening at Wakehurst Place in May to celebrate Kew's 250th anniversary.
The displays will give visitors an insight into the pioneering plant research and conservation work carried out at Wakehurst, Kew 's country estate in the heart of Sussex, near Haywards Heath.
Called 'Meadows' and 'Dispersal', the exhibitions, which open on May 1 and run for most of the year, will provide a fascinating and informative added attraction for visitors at Wakehurst.
Meadows will highlight the vanishing landscape of traditional Wealden hay meadows, and include a series of special events, including a heavy horse display and traditional hay making.
Dispersal is a breathaking collection of photographs, by artist Rob Kesseler working in collaboration with seed morphologist Dr Wolfgang Stuppy , inspired by the worldwide conservation work of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst. Dr Stuppy said: "The seeds are breathtakingly beautiful under the microscope, they are also very tough and have evolved to survive in all kinds of conditions - they are masterpieces of biological engineering."
Andy Jackson, Head of Wakehurst Place, said: "These new exhibitions will highlight the vital conservation work being carried out at Wakehurst and are a fitting way of marking Kew 's 250 th anniversary."
Details of exhibitions:
May 1 to December 31, 2009
The Meadows exhibition will be an opportunity to discover more about traditional hay meadows and the myriad or plants and wildlife they support. Buzzing with wildlife and brimming with colourful wild flowers, these meadows were once a common sight across the Sussex Weald until changes in farming methods lead to a dramatic decline.
Now experts at Wakehurst have joined forces with the University of Sussex and High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to restore and enhance traditional meadows.
A new meadow is being established as a focal point of the exhibition and a lasting legacy of Kew 's anniversary. Local schoolchildren are getting involved and will be planting wildflowers and scattering seeds in the meadow.
A traditional timber-framed building, constructed for the exhibition using oak harvested on the Wakehurst estate and building techniques dating back 250 years, will house information displays. These will explain the importance of meadows, how Wakehurst is working to restore them, and how everyone can play their part, for example scattering seeds and growing wildflowers.
May 1 to November 30, 2009
Seed expert Dr Wolfgang Stuppy and artist Rob Kesseler, Professor at Central Saint Martin's College of Art & Design, combine nature, science and art in this stunning collection of images, which will be on show in Kew 's Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst.
The pair have worked together at the Seed Bank to capture seeds in a whole new light.
Dr Stuppy, a seed morphologist at the Seed Bank, takes images of seeds with a powerful scanning electron microscope as part of his work. Specimens are coated in a fine layer of platinum or gold and then placed in a vacuum chamber where they were bombarded with electron particles, creating high magnified images picking out the minutest surface characteristics.
The resulting black and white images are painstakingly re-mastered by Rob Kesseler, using subtle washes and layers of colour to enhance their forms and structural characteristics with greater clarity.
The result is a unique exhibition full of striking and beautiful photographs which enable the audience to see fruits, seeds and wood from a completely different perspective.
Note to Editors
- For more information ring Andy Jackson or Iain Parkinson on 01444 894067, 01444 894304, email firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com or call 020 8332 5607
- To download Wakehurst images please visit http://www.kew.org/press/images/wakehurst
Wakehurst Place is home to formal gardens, natural woodlands, nature reserves and a Sixteenth century mansion; plus the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild seed collection in the world. Wakehurst is located on the B2028 between Ardingly and Turners Hill, West Sussex (Junction 10 off the M23) and open daily from 10am, except December 24 and 25. For more details visit www.kew.org or ring 01444 894067.
Keep up to date with events and news from Kew