The project forms part of the Burberry Landscapes series, which sees larger-than-life earth works crafted by the brand in collaboration with its creative community. The series celebrates founder Thomas Burberry’s love for the great outdoors and pays homage to the tales of adventures that his family members have embarked on.
"Over 160 years ago, founder Thomas Burberry reimagined the possibilities of the great outdoors, equipping explorers to adventure through open spaces and embedding an affinity for the horizon in Burberry's DNA," the brand explained.
For the latest iteration, the series is meant to evoke stories of Burberry's past to inform the present; the tales of adventurer Elsie Burberry - founder Thomas Burberry's daughter-in-law - and aviator Betty Kirby-Green who embarked on journeys from Britain to the Canary Islands and South Africa respectively.
Both of these countries were revisited to create artwork inspired by the signature Burberry Check.
The Burberry Check meadow lay in South Africa’s Overberg region, Western Cape and near to where record-breaking co-pilots Betty Kirby-Green and flying officer Arthur Clouston landed The Burberry plane into Cape Town in 1937. The display was hand-planted by expert local green teams to match the colours of the Burberry Check.
The 104,000 plants used in the installation were grown from seed with water sourced from a rainfall catchment dam. To ensure the pasture meadow was returned to its original state, the plants were turned over to break down naturally and compost back into the earth, Burberry says.
The installation was created in the Happy Valley farm, Greyton, which is surrounded by the Riviersonderend conservation area, dominated by mountain fynbos, ericas and proteas. The many water streams travel down the mountain valleys lined with wild almond trees and conebush.
Inspired by adventurer Elsie Burberry’s voyages to the Canary Islands, the island of El Hierro’s volcanic ground acted as a natural canvas for the Burberry Check. Created using natural milk-based paint, Cuban-American contemporary artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada brought the Burberry Check colours to life.
"One of the things I enjoy about using this paint process is that it’s created from minerals. So, as you’re mixing your colours, it’s like alchemy. You don’t really know what amount works in one moment or another moment, because each type is going to come with a certain density and coverage and another comes with a different one. All of it unfolds before you, so you can enjoy mixing in the moment," says Rodriguez-Gerada.
This vast natural illustration was washed away with manual turning, wind and local water sources to leave no lasting mark on the landscape. The full process was approved and monitored by El Hierro’s official Environmental Department, Burberry notes.
"Together, these landscapes embody Burberry’s belief that creativity opens spaces. A body of work that celebrates Burberry’s heritage and encourages people to step outside and rethink the possibility of the world around them," the brand says.