‘Burning Desire’  at London’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Video. Kew Gardens exhibit: sculptures emphasize plants' healing properties

The “Light in Life” exhibition will take place on the 132-hectare site and will be open from May 4 to September 29. The sculptures, made mostly of stainless steel, are spread across vegetation’s Kew to reflect the greenery of the site.

The “Light in Life” exhibition will take place on the 132-hectare site and will be open from May 4 to September 29. The sculptures, made mostly of stainless steel, are spread across vegetation’s Kew to reflect the greenery of the site.

Quinn says: ’Kew approached me to do something and I came down, and I hadn't been for a long time. And when I came here and realised that they have hundreds of scientists doing research and horticulturists and I spent more and more time here, I realised that there was a whole show to do here, so we worked together to do that.’

The exhibition aims to attract more visitors while highlighting the vital role of plants. Sculptures inspired by cancer drugs underline our dependence on nature. One represents a turmeric specimen, similar to archived samples, while another depicts Pacific yew, the source of the cancer treatment paclitaxel.

"We currently know that around 45% of flowering plants are at risk of extinction and so it's critical that we can preserve biodiversity, so plants, fungi and other organisms because we could potentially be losing opportunities to find solutions to challenges, for example, to our health and also to our environment," explains Dr Melanie-Jayne Howes, a biological chemistry scientist at Kew.

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