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Marc Quinn Sculpture at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

For the first time in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show’s 100 year history the RHS has collaborated with an artist to create an installation – titled The Rush of Nature - which will be auctioned by Sotheby’s to help raise £1m for the next generation of horticulturists.

Renowned British artist Marc Quinn has created the installation to celebrate the garden as an artistic medium. With flowers and plant life featuring so prominently in his art, the RHS is delighted to be working with Marc on its first artistic collaboration.

The installation will be kept under wraps until the show opens and will then be auctioned by Sotheby’s as part of the RHS Chelsea Centenary Appeal. The Appeal will help the RHS bring horticulture to a young audience and promote horticulture as a career. The fundraising will enable the creation of a new RHS apprenticeship scheme, the creation of a Learning Centre at RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex and further investment in the RHS Campaign for School Gardening.

Speaking about the collaboration, RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, says: “Marc Quinn is one of the most exciting and celebrated contemporary artists today. We are honoured he has created this amazing piece of artwork for us to help the future of horticulture.

“Marc’s artwork will be the iconic image for this year’s Centenary RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Funds raised from it will go towards enabling young people to embrace a career in horticulture.”

Marc Quinn, whose well-known artworks include orchid sculptures and paintings, as well as his Eternal Spring sculptures featuring flowers preserved in perfect bloom in frozen silicone, said: “The Chelsea Flower Show has provided flowers and inspiration for my work for many years. To create a garden there is something of a dream come true for me. Especially as it will help such an important cause: our relationship to plants and nature is one of the most important things in all of our lives.”

Oliver Barker, Senior International Specialist, Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Department, said: “Marc Quinn has created some of the most celebrated works in recent British art, and many of them refer to the forms of flowers and the natural world, so it could not be more appropriate that the work now being sold to benefit the RHS should be by him."

The installation will be sold by Sotheby’s in a silent auction via the RHS website during the week of the Show at www.rhs.org.uk/marcquinn. This will be live from 10am Monday, 20 May.

The RHS Chelsea Centenary Appeal funds will help the RHS create a Learning Centre at RHS Garden Hyde Hall to enable schools across London, Essex and the South East to experience learning in an inspiring environment using the resources and learning opportunities for free. Learning Centres at RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey, RHS Garden Rosemoor, Devon and RHS Garden Harlow Carr, North Yorkshire, host more than 40,000 children on school visits a year.

The charity is also creating 15 apprenticeships in the next three years. The first four apprentice places will be launched this year. There will be two at RHS Garden Hyde Hall and two at RHS Garden Wisley.

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening was launched in 2007 to encourage schools to develop a school garden because of the significant benefits that gardening brings to children. Today this RHS campaign supports well over half of all UK schools (16,800). RHS Regional Advisors also hold workshops to train teachers and last year helped equip 2,100 teachers with gardening knowledge.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, sponsored by M&G Investments, is celebrating its centenary year. Running from Tuesday 21 to Saturday 25 May the show offers visitors 15 Show Gardens, 11 Fresh Gardens – the best of contemporary garden design – and eight Artisan Gardens. In addition, 150 exhibits from nurseries and florists in the Great Pavilion and up to 250 tradestands means the Centenary RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be one not to miss.

Source: RHS Chelsea Flower Show - Marc Quinn Sculpture at RHS Chelsea Flower Show