Life-size, hand-planted ‘Burberry Checks’ dot the lands of the Canary Islands and South Africa

Life-size, hand-planted ‘Burberry Checks’ dot the lands of the Canary Islands and South Africa

Earthworks larger than life ‘Burberry landscapes’

In 1967, a shopper at the Burberry Paris store, having a flash of inspiration, removed the Burberry Check lining from a Burberry raincoat and wrapped it around a suitcase and umbrella. The British fashion house he took it as a cue to devise a series of accessories dedicated to Burberry Check.

These luxury items now sign the namesake of the fashion house, and their recent venture finds Burberry Check sprawling, so big that it covers the grounds of El Hierro in the Canary Islands and the Western Cape in South Africa. Burberry plants a series of larger than life earthworks and illustrations Created in collaboration with its creative community.

Called ‘Burberry Landscapes’, the series not only celebrates founder Thomas Burberry’s reverence for the outdoors, but also pays homage to the adventure stories his family members embarked on. The open spaces of El Hierro and the Western Cape have become temporary homes for these life-size installations that will soon be phasing out.

burberry landscapes
images © courtesy of Burberry

El Hierro, Canary Islands – Elsie Burberry

Elsie Burberry, the daughter-in-law of burberry founder Thomas, traveled to the Canary Islands by sea in the early 20th century and embraced the natural landscapes of the region. His adventure inspired the fashion house to cover the volcanic soil of the island of El Hierro which acted as a natural canvas for the Burberry Check. Burberry turned to contemporary Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada to bring the Burberry Check to life.

The artist used natural milk-based paint and the natural artwork was carefully removed by hand tumbling, wind, and local water sources so as not to leave a lasting mark on the landscape. Rodríguez-Gerada says that one of the things he enjoyed about using the painting process was its roots in the minerals.

It’s like alchemy. You really don’t know how much works at one point or another, because each type is going to come with a certain density and coverage and another one comes with a different one. It all unfolds before you, so you can enjoy mixing right now.’ he says.

burberry landscapes
closeup of burberry check in western cape

Western Cape, South Africa – Betty Kirby-Green

In the grassland of South Africa’s Overberg region, Western Cape, the Burberry Check emerges near where co-pilots Betty Kirby-Green and flight officer Arthur Clouston landed the Burberry plane in Cape Town. Local green experts hand-planted the illustration in the meadow whose soil is fed and cultivated with water from a rain catchment dam.

To ensure that the grass prairie returned to its original state, the plants were turned over to decompose naturally and returned to the soil. “Together, these landscapes embody Burberry’s belief that creativity opens spaces. A body of work that celebrates Burberry’s heritage and encourages people to get out there and rethink the possibility of the world around them. Burberry writes.

burberry landscapes
western cape, south africa

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