Kew Trip May 19

Art Appreciation Group: Trip to Kew Gardens 15th May

Our trip was arranged by Sheila Taylor, on behalf of members from Art Appreciation, Gardening, Flower Arranging and Family History groups as well being open to all other interested U3A members. Not an easy task!

We had a comfortable but long journey on the coach, arriving half an hour after our scheduled time. The traffic was a nightmare! Most of our party spent a glorious, sunny afternoon in the gardens, whilst four members of the Family History group ventured on to the National Archives.

The gardens and their various buildings provided a beautiful backdrop for “Reflections on Nature”, an exhibition of fabulous intricate glass sculptures and chandeliers by Seattle artist Dale Chihuly. The exhibits were made during the last two decades from free-blown and mould blown glass, held together with steel. He also uses graphite, paint, charcoal and Polyvitro in his work. The colours and shapes were phenomenal, sparkling in the sunshine. ( One example of his work, a twenty seven foot blue/green chandelier graces the rotunda in the Victoria and Albert museum in London.)

Smaller glass exhibits and a contemporary collection botanical art are displayed in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery. Should you have the odd £6K to spare, original pieces of Chihuly's work are available for purchase...

Not forgetting the gardens themselves, our visit was just at the end of spring so the tulips etc were just ‘going over.’ That being said, the azaleas were in full bloom and looked stunning. The gardens are vast so we only saw a small part of what's on offer. No wonder many people have a yearly pass to experience the gardens in all their splendour!
Everyone passed an extremely enjoyable afternoon pursuing their various interests and partaking of lunch in wonderful surroundings. All too soon our 4 hours was up.

Everyone made it back to the coach in good time, so there were no comments like “Oh there's always the one!” or renditions of “Why are we waiting?” Just as well as we had another four hour's of travel ahead of us..

During our return journey, a vote of thanks was given for all the organisation of a very successful trip, together with the proposal of another outing soon... We'll second that!

Paul and Sandra Loader.

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