Wondering what to do in London this Summer? The Saatchi Gallery has announced their Summer exhibition, Civilization: The Way We Live Now, featuring 150 contemporary photographers tracking the visual threads of humankind’s ever-changing life. Plus, The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and Saatchi Gallery continue their partnership to present the 2023 RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show.
Civilization: The Way We Live Now
LONDON, UK –
From 2 June – 17 September 2023, Saatchi Gallery will present Civilization: The Way We Live Now, an international exhibition offering an unprecedented look at 150 contemporary photographers tracking the visual threads of humankind’s ever-changing, extraordinarily complex life across the globe.
Featuring many previously unseen images, this landmark exhibition acknowledges the diverse material and spiritual cultures that make up global “civilization” today. Exploring a wide range of subjects, from our great collective achievements to our ruinous collective failings, Civilization: The Way We Live Now highlights the complexity and contradictions of contemporary civilization.
Participating photographers practising across all five continents; from Reiner Riedler’s families cavorting at leisure parks, through Raimond Wouda’s high school subculture, Wang Qingsong’s parody of insane work habits, to Lauren Greenfield’s displays of ostentatious wealth, Edward Burtynsky’s study of fragile water resources, Pablo Lopez Luz’s views on a sprawling contemporary megapolis, Thomas Struth’s vision of past civilizational glories and Xing Danwen’s electronic wastelands, Civilization draws together powerful imagery into a new, unique and challenging discourse.
A collaboration between Saatchi Gallery and the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, with curators William A. Ewing and Holly Roussell, the highly-anticipated exhibition has toured in major museums across Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, France and Italy and includes a new selection of works curated especially for this London edition at Saatchi Gallery. In addition to the photographers with decades of experience, Civilization features the work of many in mid-career, as well as emerging talents.
As curator William A. Ewing explains, “Photographers are at work everywhere, photographing everything, using their eyes and their minds to seize telling moments in the rapid flux with sharp, vivid images. Photographers are our civilization’s eyes… Ironically, it may be that many of these photographs will last longer than the monuments and artefacts that they depict. London has always been a great centre for the celebration of photography from all corners of the globe, filled with collections, archives, museums and galleries deeply committed to the promotion of this vital art form. We curators have been privileged to benefit from many loans from these sources, and welcome Saatchi Gallery’s invitation to share the fruits of our research with a London audience.”
About the Exhibition:
The exhibition is conceived as a journey through key aspects of civilization, via eight thematic chapters: HIVE, which features photographs dealing with the concept of the urban environment, a prerequisite of all civilizations; ALONE TOGETHER which looks at social relationships; FLOW, which takes its subject to the movement of peoples, good and ideas; PERSUASION, which looks at the strategies that politicians and merchandisers employ to influence our behaviour; CONTROL, which has to do with authority and power; RUPTURE, which looks at societal breakdown and conflict; ESCAPE, which shows people searching for release from the mundane; and NEXT? which hints at the new world taking shape in the 21st Century.
CIVILIZATION: The Way We Live Now has been co-produced by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis/Paris/Lausanne, and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea, in collaboration with the Saatchi Gallery, London. Previous venues of the exhibition include the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea; UCCA Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; the Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand; the Museum of Civilisation (Mucem), Marseille, France and the Museo San Domenico, Forlì, Italy.
RHS Botanical Art & Photography Show
The annual RHS Botanical Art & Photography Show exhibition will return to the Saatchi Gallery this Summer to showcase new work from world-leading botanical artists and photographers across three galleries. The exhibition will be open to the public 16 June – 9 July 2023.
2023 highlights include botanical drawings of ecologically important plants, alongside short-listed portfolio photography exhibits selected from a range of amateur and professional photographers.
LONDON, UK –
Following the success of the 2021 and 2022 editions, the annual exhibition will return this Summer and showcase new work from leading botanical artists and photographers across three galleries.
Entries for the show have been through a meticulous pre-selection process, where the scientific accuracy, technical skill and aesthetic appeal of the work are reviewed by an expert judging panel prior to the show opening, with artists and photographers awarded RHS Gold, Silver-Gilt, Silver, and Bronze medals, as well as a series of special awards including ‘Best Botanical Art Exhibit’ and ‘Judge’s Special Award’.
In 2023, a diverse range of subjects will be presented by participants from around the world. Artists depict plants of ecological importance including English seaweed and Scottish lichens, Australian Algae, endangered plants of Korea, and wildflowers of Greece. Heritage garden blooms are also featured, sitting together with pictures of fabulous fruit and medicinal herbs.
New photography entries in 2023 include works from amateur photographers as well as returning medal-winning exhibitors. The portfolios this year depict a range of photographic styles and chosen subjects ranging from RHS garden landscapes to the gardeners found working in quiet unity within the temple gardens of Kyoto.
Former Gold medal-winning exhibitors will also show their work alongside artists participating in the 2023 exhibition for the first time.
Last year’s award-winning exhibits included the exceptional ‘Rosulate Violas of the Patagonian Andes’ by Nigel Pickering, which gained a post-humous award for Best Botanical Art Exhibit. The award for Best Botanical Artwork was presented to Yoko Harada for her stunning watercolour ofArisaema thunbergii subsp. urashima, and the Judges’ Special Award was given to Mitsuko Kurashina for her memorable depictions of ‘tsunami plants’.
For portfolio photography, the award for Best in Show 2022 was won by Paul Mitchell for his exhibit ‘Portraits of Time’.
The show is a highlight in the calendar of the RHS Lindley Library, complementing its extensive collection of botanical artworks, photographs and illustrations which include more than 30,000 works.
Charlotte Brooks, Art Curator at the RHS,“We are very excited to be going into our third year in partnership with the Saatchi Gallery. There is such a wealth of emerging and established talent in the worlds of botanical art and garden photography. It is our pleasure to present new exhibits in these prestigious galleries and help raise the profile of artists and photographers from across the globe.”
Helena Pettit, RHS Director of Shows and Gardens, “We are thrilled to be partnering once again with Saatchi Gallery to showcase diverse and wonderful pieces of art and photography that really champion the beauty of gardening.”
British artist Sarah Jane Humphrey explains, “Mind bending hours have gone into my illustration, I am so looking forward to revealing the final piece to visitors.”
Paul Foster, Director at Saatchi Gallery said, “This historic show has become an annual highlight at Saatchi Gallery – the artist’s extraordinary technical skill, meticulous processes, and wide international diversity continues to inspire and delight our visitors.”
The RHS Botanical Art & Photography Show is supported by Riverstone Living. Entry is free for RHS and Saatchi Gallery members.
Civilization: The Way We Live Now exhibition
Open to the public: 2 June – 17 September 2023
10 AM – 6 PM (last admission 5 PM)
Saatchi Gallery Members Go Free. Tickets £16; Concessions* £10; Children Under 6*, Free; Children Aged 6-16 years, £10; Family Ticket*, £38*; *T&Cs Apply. Advanced booking is strongly advised. Tickets available to book now: saatchigallery.com/ticket
RHS Botanical Art & Photography Show 2023 exhibition
Winners announced: 10am, Friday 16 June 2023
Open to the public: 16 June – 9 July 2023
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm, Monday – Sunday (last admission 5.30pm)
Saatchi Gallery & RHS Members Go Free. Standard Tickets £7; Concessions* £5; Children Under 6*, Free; Children Aged 6-16 years, £6; Family ticket £17. *T&Cs Apply. Tickets available to book now: saatchigallery.com/ticket