Seeds go platinum and gold for new exhibition at Wakehurst Place
A breathtaking exhibition combining art and nature opens at Wakehurst Place on Friday (1 May) as part of celebrations to mark Kew 's 250 th anniversary.
Artist Rob Kesseler, Professor at Central Saint Martin 's College of Art & Design, has worked in collaboration with seed expert Dr Wolfgang Stuppy 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 are 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.
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."
He added: "Just as plants use many strategies to disperse their seeds and fruits to ensure the continuation of the species, together through our important collaboration we hope to inspire new audiences and raise awareness of the important work at the Millennium Seed Bank through the dispersal of the images in this exhibition."
The exhibition 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 . The Seed Bank is the largest wild plant seed conservation project in the world and aims to safeguard 10% of the world's wild plants from extinction by the end of the decade.
The Dispersal exhibition is being held in Kew 's Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place and is open daily from May 1 to November 30. The exhibition is free to garden visitors.
Note to Editors
- For more information ring Andy Jackson, Head of Wakehurst Place, on 01444 894067, 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. Username is press. Password is kewpress.
- For high res images please contact Papadakis which has published books of the images 'Seeds' and 'Pollen', ring 01635 248833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wakehurst Place is home to formal gardens, natural woodlands, nature reserves and a Sixteenth century mansion; plus Kew 's 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 our Wakehurst pages or ring 01444 894067.
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