Naturally Brilliant Colour

Summer 2021: Experience colour like never before in an exhibition that celebrates the spectacular shades of the natural world.

Naturally Brilliant Colour

Date

Monday 17 May – Saturday 5 June and Wednesday 9 June - Sunday 26 September 2021

Time

10am – 5.30pm (last entry 5pm)

Location

Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art

Price

Included with entry to the Gardens

You can enter the Galleries at any time during your visit to Kew Gardens.

Join us to experience Pure Structural Colour, the boldest, brightest colour on Earth.

On display for the very first time at our spectacular show, these stunning, jewel-like shades have never been recreated by humans before - until now. 

See this incredible technology in the world’s first botanical artwork using Pure Structural Colour, by renowned artist Coral G Guest. 

Be immersed in a mesmerising large-scale kaleidoscope containing glass created with this stunning new colour. 

Get a taste for how it could be used in the world of fashion and art and get a sneak peek at prototype accessories coated with the new form of colour. 

What is Pure Structural Colour? 

Some plants and animals have microscopic structures in their surface layers, which reflect sunlight in a specific way to generate bright colours.

This is how the dazzling blue-greens on butterfly wings and hummingbirds are formed. 

Inspired by these naturally brilliant colours, this phenomenon has been reproduced artificially for the first time in history using cutting-edge technology by Andrew Parker and the scientific researchers at Lifescaped.

The evolution of colour 

What is colour? Colour is not real. What you are really seeing is light. Your brain converts what you see into what you recognise as colour.

Go on a journey from the very origins of colour on Earth, up to the creation of Pure Structural Colour and its aesthetic potential in art and beyond. 

Discover more about the 'birth' of colour and vision, and how colour helps species survive and thrive. 

See how artists through the ages have depicted the brightest hues in the natural world. The show brings together works by influential botanical artists including Robert John Thornton and contemporary artist Julia Trickey. 

Follow the trail

Families and school groups visiting Naturally Brilliant Colour can pick up their free booklet on entry to the exhibition, featuring fun facts and activities to complete as you explore a world of colour.

Explore the exhibition with our family-friendly guide, and continue the fun at home with a DIY kaleidoscope kit inspired by what you see: