Home Horticultural shows Garden Museum’s Kate Friend exhibition

Garden Museum’s Kate Friend exhibition

Jester Marigold at Fern Verrow. Picture: ©Kate Friend
Jester Marigold at Fern Verrow. Picture: ©Kate Friend

Botanical Portraits: a photographic study of English plants, February 2-March 18

British photographer Kate Friend spent spring and summer last year searching some of England’s greatest gardens for subjects of her photographic study, Botanical Portraits.

She worked with head gardeners at Chelsea Physic Garden, Great Dixter, Houghton Hall and Fern Verrow.

For each photograph, a stem was photographed in a studio setting, focusing on form and colour.

With a nod to the Japanese rikka (standing flowers) tradition and to Gertrude Jekyll’s still-life photography, the aesthetic focuses as much on what is left out as on the little that is allowed in.

Hibiscus cannabinus at Chelsea Physic Garden. Picture; ©Kate Friend
Hibiscus cannabinus at Chelsea Physic Garden. Picture; ©Kate Friend

Beautiful ceramics

Vases and vessels are of central importance, with ceramics from Rachel Lucas-Craig, Laura Huston and Karen Downing.

Kate wanted plants that were native to England but this was not straightforward. Exploration, trade, colonialism and early globalisation have resulted in our rich and diverse international plant community. The eclectic selection reflects our multicultural botanical heritage.

Images are shot on 6×7 medium format film. Prints are archival giclée inkjet, produced in signed limited editions of 10.

Visitors can see the 10 photographs, alongside a ‘narrative wall’ – a separate display showing ‘behind the scenes’ photographs and location shots.

Visitor information

  • Address: Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1 7LB
  • Contact details: 020 7401 8865, www.gardenmuseum.org.uk
  • Admission: £10, concessions apply, see website for details
  • Opening hours: Sunday to Friday, 10.30am-5pm; Saturday, 10.30am-4pm, closed the first Monday of the month.
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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.


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