A field of flowers stretches across the gallery floor, thousands of black silhouettes standing as if in memorial. The mood is sombre. To visitors walking around the edge, however, another perspective slowly reveals itself: the backs of the flowers are painted in cheerful, bright colours. The atmosphere is transformed to one of beauty, life, and hope.

The installation ‘Blackfield’ is at the heart of Zadok Ben-David’s exhibition Natural Reserve in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew Gardens. Consisting of 17,000 hand-painted metal silhouettes, the work simultaneously evokes ...


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