Art exhibition - Rory McEwen The Colours Of Reality
11 May to 22 September 2013, Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew Gardens
Rory McEwen The Colours of Reality presented the vibrant and varied career of the renowned Scottish artist and musician, Rory McEwen. This exhibition is now closed.
Rory McEwen - the artist
McEwen was renowned for both his artistic and musical work and this exhibition brought together many sides of his creative career. Ranging from the 1950s to the early 1980s, it included his hyper-realistic botanical paintings as well as etchings and sketch books. In addition to lesser-known pieces such as collages, you could also view an example of his sculpture, and a rarely-seen film documentation of Joseph Beuys performing an action, ‘Joseph Beuys in Scotland’, from 1970.
McEwen is best known for his botanical studies, and his techniques have had a lasting impact on the botanical art world. His posthumous 1988 Serpentine Gallery exhibition is considered one of the turning points in the development of contemporary botanical art, and had a marked effect on botanical artists which lasts to this day. Four of the gallery spaces at Kew Gardens were devoted to these botanical studies, painted in watercolour on vellum.
Van Morrison and the folk singer Martin Carthy also cite McEwen as an influence, with Carthy recalling that “you saw the world when you went to Tregunter Road (the McEwen home). Bob Dylan, George Melly, Princess Margaret, The Beatles...”
Rory McEwen’s legacy - Artists influenced by him in the Shirley Sherwood Collection
Open until January 2014, Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew Gardens
To highlight McEwen’s influence on contemporary botanical artists, a supporting exhibition, Rory McEwen’s Legacy: Artists Influenced by him in the Shirley Sherwood Collection, is also showing until 4 January 2014. See how McEwen inspired many of today’s artists such as Bridgid Edwards, Coral Guest, and Pandora Sellars. Admission to the exhibition is free with entry to the Gardens. Find out more about this exhibition.
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