Curious Kew

“To wander is to be alive” – Roman Pay

I got a call from my grandparents inviting me for a day out. They offered to take me to Kew gardens and my lift arrived promptly at 9.15 the next day. We took a scenic route there through Richmond Park where I saw more deer than ever before. They were so close to the road that if I had opened the door I  would have hit them!! 

The remainder of the journey passed without excitement, but sometimes just having some time to sit and think is quite nice. 

The first thing we went to see was the Hive. It is a temporary attraction, that is only at Kew until November 2017. It is a metal structure made of hexagons. Attached to it are 1000 LED lights and some speakers. These lights and speakers are connected to one of Kew’s beehives so every time a bee flies into or out of the beehive the lights flicker or change brightness/colour. The speakers play a bee-themed soundscape that varies in volume depending on the number of bees entering or leaving the beehive. 

Standing inside the Hive I felt immersed in nature, which is quite ironic since I was surrounded by metal and LED lights. Nonetheless it was a wonderful experience that I won’t ever forget. 

As well as being reminded of our natural roots we also went into the Marianne North Gallery and saw the exhibition of paintings by Marianne herself. She was a travelling artist in the Victorian era. It was most unusual for a woman to be travelling by herself in Victorian times. But nonetheless she produced hundreds of paintings from various countries. She predominantly painted landscapes and plants using bright and vibrant colours.  

Walking into the exhibition was an experience in itself. The building consists of one main room with two smaller room off the side of it. The main room and one of the smaller rooms are lines with paintings. They cover every inch of wall space. So you are surrounded by bright and varied colours. 

The other small room plays a short film about Marianne’s life and travels. Answering many of my questions, but also inspiring me that anything is possible. As who would have thought a well-brought up Victorian lady would be able to travel and paint the world by herself, as she pleased. She overcame society’s barriers, showing that if you have a dream and a passion you will always find a way. 

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