Burberry branding, volcano and prairie with iconic check pattern

British fashion house Burberry used milk-based paints and flowers to create a pair of temporary fixtures in the Canary Islands and South Africa, which mimic the brand’s signature checkered pattern when viewed from above.

Designed as part of the Burberry Landscapes series, the project sees the creatives collaborate with the brand to produce temporary, site-specific land art.

Land art on a large scale in Burberry's signature check pattern
Burberry has teamed up with Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada to create an installation in the Canary Islands

One of the installations was designed in the Canary Islands, where it stayed for one week last November before being swept away.

Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Girada used natural milk-based paints to create a large-scale version of the signature Burberry check pattern across a volcanic site on El Hierro — the world’s first self-sufficient island to use wind as its main source of energy, according to the brand.

An aerial view of a Burberry check pattern created with milk-based paint
The artist used paints based on natural milk

“One of the things I enjoy about this painting process is that it’s made of metal,” Rodríguez-Girada said.

“So, as you mix your colors, it’s like chemistry.”

Seen from an aerial perspective, the signature geometric strips of beige, red, black and white draped across the undulating landscape simulated the fashion house’s cashmere scarf, one of Burberry’s most iconic accessories introduced in the ’70s.

The temporary illustration was removed from the site by the wind, as well as the use of hand rolling and local water sources in an effort to leave no trace behind.

Photo of a meadow in South Africa with a large-scale temporary facility
Another installation is set in a meadow in South Africa

A meadow in the Overberg, an area east of Cape Town in South Africa, formed the setting for the second facility.

Early last December, Burberry commissioned local experts to hand-plant flowers across the meadow in a similar look to Rodriguez-Gerada’s project.

Native African daisies and honey-scented helichrysum petiolare were chosen to echo Burberry’s colors and attract birds and insects while the composition was intact.

Water from a watershed dam nourished the plants before turning over to decompose and return to the ground within a week.

Native South African plants arranged to look like a Berber scarf
It was formed from local plants

The fashion house chose El Hierro as a nod to Elsie Burberry, who was the daughter-in-law of the brand’s founder, Thomas Burberry. Elsie traveled to the Canary Islands in the early 20th century where she formed a connection with the landscape of the region.

The Western Cape was chosen as a nod to the late aviators Betty Kirby Green and Arthur Clouston, who co-piloted the Burberry from London to Cape Town in 1937 and landed near the meadow at the Overberg.

“[Burberry Landscapes intends to] complements global landscapes in original ways through natural materials, while demonstrating an ongoing commitment to pursuing sustainable practices,” said the brand.

“Together, these landscapes embody a Berber belief that creativity opens up spaces,” she added.

Colorful paint marks on a site in the Canary Islands
Each temporary installation lasted for a week

Previous iterations of Burberry Landscapes have included the use of sand sculptures, drone displays, and hot air balloons, and have been featured in locations such as over the Colorado Reservoir.

The iconic Burberry check motif was first used as an accessory in its own right in 1967 when buyer Jacqueline Dillmann of Paris removed the check liner from a coat and reimagined it as a luggage wrap and umbrella cover.

The straight check pattern is laid out in a meadow in South Africa
Burberry created the Global Landscape Completion project.

Founded in 1856, Burberry created a mirrored pop-up store on Jeju Island, South Korea to reflect its mountainous surroundings while the brand also designed virtual clothing for the video game Minecraft.

Images courtesy of Burberry.

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