Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Henry Moores at Kew

Today I went a little up the river to Kew, where in the Royal Botanic Gardens there is a wonderful exhibition of Henry Moores.

I'm not sure if exhibition is really the right word. Unlike a "proper" gallery, which too often are rigid white boxes in which the sculpture seems imprisoned by the concrete walls, at Kew they seem as natural and at home as the ducks and geese.

Did you ever go on easter egg hunts as a child? Do remember the excitement of seeing an egg hiding behind a bush? It was a bit like that - ok there was this map (which online is interactive and well worth an explore) but often there was a feeling of discovery and excitement as to what the next one will be.

There are 28 of them there, and they really connect to their surroundings. The warm bronze used echoes the natural textures of stone and wood, and the sculpture's holes create wonderful framed perspectives of the gardens.

Some are abstract forms, like an animal rockery. Others are sensual and romantic, with strong feminine curves. Totem poles stand like pagan guardians of the trees and flowers.

It seems a real shame that they will be dispersed. I feel like forming an untheft art squad - a crack team to go in under cover of darkness with a rucksack full of superglue to fix the sculptures to the soil of London forever.

Even that seems unlikely to succeed as heavy duty cranes are used to move them, so if you have a chance then go asap, as they will leave the gardens of Kew after the 30th March.

Some more photos:


kitlinapai said...

That's so sad that they're moving these! As your photos so beautifully show, they belong in the gardens - they would loose meaning and "life" inside a sterile "proper gallery", away from their context.

Thanks for commemorating these with such lovely shots - I'm sure Moore would have been grateful.

Turinas said...

It's a fantastic exhibition. I saw it on Boxing day in the mist. I took a bunch of pics

I agree with you that they have done a brilliant job with the interactive aspects of the exhibits.

JP said...

Kat - I'm just glad I saw them in time - it would have been such a shame to have missed them. I've got some friends coming next weekend so might suggest we go for another visit - or there's two nights of late opening with floodlights which could be amazing.

And maybe I should ask Eugene to go get me one ;)

Turinas: great photos - and you went on the ice rink, which looks wonderful. I keep missing the London ice rinks - also want to do the Somerset house one. Maybe next year.