8 October 2021
Exhibition highlights: Natural Reserve
Discover the must-see pieces from Zadok Ben-David's landmark exhibition at Kew.
In his first solo exhibition since 2008, Zadok explores the relationship between humanity and the natural world through delicate miniature-artworks and monumental installations.
‘He shows us where we fit in the natural world’ — Peter Gabriel, musician and collaborator of Zadok Ben-David
Natural Reserve offers a rare and timely opportunity to reflect on the fragility of our natural world which feels more relevant than ever with the unfolding climate crisis and global pandemic.
Here are our top picks of what to look out for at the exhibition.
Receiving sustained critical and public acclaim in over 20 countries worldwide, Blackfield is being displayed for the first time in the UK as the centrepiece of Natural Reserve.
The immersive 360-degree floor installation contains over 17,000 steel flowers painted, etched, and assembled by hand.
These tiny floral motifs are based on illustrations from 19th century Victorian encyclopedias.
Blackfield is a breath-taking piece that provides a unique opportunity to experience Zadok’s unique vision of nature and reflect on the contrasts between life and death.
Outside the gallery will stand a large sculpture Winter Lights.
Human figures form a tree in this large sculpture made from Corten or ‘weathering’ steel that rusts when exposed to the elements.
This allows the piece to evolve before your eyes, mirroring the changing seasons in nature.
Don’t miss Zadok’s thought-provoking video installation Conversation Peace created in collaboration with Ido Sherf and Shahar Brill.
A pair of human silhouettes face each other, either as a confrontation or a conversation, as the narrative reflects on how easily peace can descend into a futile war.
The conversation is accompanied by a moving soundtrack by Avshalom Caspi.
This stunning, three-metre, stainless steel disc of over 2,000 hand-painted miniature butterflies and insects invites us to reflect on perceptions of beauty and attraction.
Taking you into a new world, Black Box is suspended in a darkened space and viewed only under UV light.
Elegant Flower Boxes will be displayed on the walls of Natural Reserve, made from hand painted stainless steel and perspex box.
Drawing on the spirit of scientific discovery and tradition of botanical illustration, these boxes are inspired by 19th century botanical illustrations contained within Kew’s expansive archive.
Manipulation of scale, shadow and reflections adds unexpected dimensions.
Natural Reserve promises to be a show to remember – and entry is included in your ticket to the Gardens.
So step inside our Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art this autumn to see more works by Zadok Ben-David and pause and reflect on the delicate beauty of nature.