A Mother's Day exhibition

I got a good night’s sleep and woke up at what I thought was a reasonable hour, until I realised the clocks had moved forward an hour overnight.

After a leisurely start to the morning, I went with my mum to Kew Gardens for Mother’s Day. As well as strolling amongst the gardens, and pottering around the shop, we went to an exhibition that was quite something. It was called ‘Natural Reserve’ by Zadok Ben-David.

All of it was quite wonderful, featuring hand-painted stainless steel plants and animals, with the centre-piece being an installation of a forest of thousands of flowers in sand which, depending on where you are looking at them from, were either dark in appearance or vibrant. The contrast was magnificent, it took my breath away.

The installation has also featured in other sites worldwide, too, and is called Blackfield.

We spent a few moments there just taking it all in, my mum had been before and I caught her watching my reaction the moment I turned a corner and witnessed the “change” in colour. I spent time moving around the square room, and crouching down, experiencing the different angles and perspectives.

And, later, there was also a micro-version of the installation on display in a little section on the wall. Here, you can see the dark plants, and their colourful reflections in the mirror behind.

It struck me that art is someone’s interpretation and way of conveying a message, emotions… an experience. What made this display especially poignant was that it was art in 3D; unlike a painting, it was almost as if you could really tangibly feel the artist and his imprint, or at least experience the stainless-steel artwork from different 3-directional angles.

I used to think of these artists as other-worldly, and now I realise that they are just people, like you and I, having an experience and creating because they feel compelled to. Speaking of which, at the end of the exhibition we saw some of David Hockney’s prints that he created in the springtime at his home in Normandy; born in 1937, Hockney clearly feels a draw to creating his art.

We managed to squeeze in a quick lunch before heading to afternoon tea with my grandma, my auntie, and my cousins. I was full from lunch and so mostly just sat and observed, and had chats with my cousins. I’m the eldest on my mum’s side but these “little cousin sisters” are now twenty-five and turning twenty-two. It’s crazy where the time goes. I had a meaningful chat with the elder of the two sisters, which was nice.

After two days of socialising, I felt pretty spent and left to get to the gym. I sat in the jacuzzi for what must have been an hour, the water helps me to relax and seems to help ground me after lots of social time. I used to think this was a consequence of my introversion, but I have now come to realise that this is more down to my high sensitivity. I absorb the energy from others – and my environment – very easily, and so “outside time” has to be balanced with “inside time” for me. Something tells me that many of the singers, artists and other creatives out there have, at least, some degree of high sensitivity, too. That’s my hunch, anyhow.

Speaking of which, I bought my mum a copy of Sensitive, by Hannah Jane Walker, for Mother’s Day, after noticing it at Waterstones recently. Part-memoir and part-research/science, it appears the most poignant book on high sensitivity I’ve come across since Elaine Aron’s The Highly Sensitive Person. I’m planning on reading, myself.

I’ve just cooked pasta for dinner this evening, and looking forward to settling down to a quiet night.