Queer Nature: Kew’s Brand New Autumn Festival

By Olivia Emily

9 months ago

Everything you need to know

Kew is launching a brand new month-long festival this autumn celebrating the connections between queer people, plants and fungi: Queer Nature. Here’s everything you need to know, plus how to get involved.

Queer Nature: Kew’s Brand New Month-Long LGBTQ+Festival

Visitors outside the Temperate House during the Secret World of Plants After Hours

© RBG Kew

This autumn, Kew’s iconic Temperate House will be transformed into a new space to celebrate the connections between queer people and nature. Queer Nature will run from Saturday 30 September until Sunday 29 October 2023 and feature four bespoke installations alongside a special garden display and stories by queer artists, gardeners, scientists and more. It’s all in celebration of the diversity of nature and its infinite possibilities, exploring how some plants do not fit into gender binaries, how some flowers are hermaphrodites, how fungi can have as many as 36,000 different mating types, and how, for example, avocado trees can be functionally female one day (in order to be pollinated) and functionally male the next (using anthers to spread their pollen).

‘We are incredibly excited to celebrate the beauty and diversity of plants and fungi at Kew Gardens this autumn,’ says Julie Flavell, Head of Visitor Programmes and Exhibitions at RBG Kew. ‘This unique collaboration between art, science, horticulture and LGBTQ+ communities will be the first of its kind at Kew, promising to transform the Temperate House into a unique experience for all to enjoy. We hope visitors will leave feeling inspired by the wonder of the natural world.’

Queer nature

Queer Nature After Hours

As night falls, the Queer Nature exhibition takes on an otherworldly glow. Visit on 13, 14, 20 or 21 October 2023 to experience music, cabaret, comedy, drag and talks amid these beautiful surroundings. See what’s on at kew.org

The Installations

House of Spirits by Jeffery Gibson

Suspended in the centre of the Temperate House, Jeffrey Gibson’s House of Spirits is his largest UK commission to date. An intricate collage of fabric, illustration and text, Gibson draws on his Choctaw-Cherokee heritage as well as queer theory, politics and art history.

Queer Nature

House of Spirits © Jeffrey Gibson

Breaking the Binary by Patrick Featherstone and the Kew Youth Forum

This garden display will take over the South Octagon of the Temperate House, and was created by Patrick Featherstone with the Kew Youth Forum across a series of three workshops. Breaking the Binary is a verdant exploration of plant species with reproductive methods that challenge binary language.

Queer Voices

In this series of video interviews, LGBTQ+ scientists and horticulturists, historians, artists, writers, and more come together to discuss the intersection of LGBTQ+ identities and botanical science, the history of queer representation in the arts, and the ways nature can inspire and inform queer creativity. Brought to life though an installation designed by Adam Nathaniel Furman, expect personal anecdotes, scholarly reflections and artistic interpretations.

Reverberations by LiLi K. Bright and Ama Josephine Budge Johnstone

Ama Josephine Budge Johnstone and LiLi K. Bright respond to the theme ‘Queer Nature’ through two spoken word pieces sharing personal perspectives, which are absorbed by the 10,000 plants found inside the Temperate House.


30 September–29 October 2023


Temperate House, Kew Gardens, London TW9 3AB


Daytime entry to the Queer Nature festival is included when purchasing a ticket to Kew Gardens. Recipients of Universal Credit, Pension Credit and other legacy benefits can visit Kew Gardens and enjoy the Queer Nature festival for £1. After Hours tickets must be booked in advance. kew.org