19th January 2023
18 JANUARY 2023
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.
Continuing our connection to the natural world, Burberry Landscapes is a series of larger-than-life earth works crafted in collaboration with Burberry’s creative community. Complementing global landscapes in original ways through natural materials, whilst demonstrating a continued commitment to pursuing sustainable practices.
For the latest iteration, the series evokes stories of Burberry’s past to inform the present. The tales of adventurer Elsie Burberry – founder Thomas Burberry’s daughter-in-law – and pioneering 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 iconic Burberry Check.
El Hierro, Canary Islands – Elsie Burberry
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.’
– Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
This vast natural illustration was carefully 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.
Western Cape, South Africa – Betty Kirby-Green
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. The vibrant display was hand-planted by expert local green teams to match the iconic colours of the Burberry Check. The meadow was nurtured and grown using 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.
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.
Click here for visual assets.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About El Hierro, Canary Islands
- Elsie Burberry, daughter-in-law of Burberry’s founder Thomas, travelled to the Canary Islands by sea in the early 20th century and embraced the natural landscapes of the region.
- El Hierro is the youngest, smallest, most western and most southern of the Canary Islands. It is the first self-sufficient island in the world using wind as its main source of energy.
- El Hierro has unique geological and natural heritage, characterised by its landscapes and its volcanic origins.
- El Hierro has been declared a ‘world biosphere reserve and geopark’ by UNESCO. The energy it uses is 100% renewable.
About El Hierro, Canary Islands Afterlife
- To ensure the artwork's location was returned to its natural state, a manual turnover with rake, wind and water were deployed to remove every trace of the installation.
- In accordance with the UNESCO status of the island, the full installation process received approval from the Environmental Department in El Hierro.
About Western Cape, South Africa
- Betty Kirby-Green co-piloted The Burberry plane from London to Cape Town in 1937, with Flying Officer Arthur Clouston.
- 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.
- The farm lies within the Greyton Shale Fynbos ecosystem, which forms part of a small natural belt of heathland in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. ‘Fynbos’ is known for its exceptional degree of biodiversity and endemism.
About South Africa Afterlife
- The 104,000 plants used in the installation were grown from seed with water sourced from a rainfall catchment dam.
- To ensure the artwork’s location was returned to its natural state, the plants were turned over to break down naturally and compost back into the earth.
About the Burberry Check
- The Burberry Check was first used to line our raincoats in the 1920s, but it was the 1960s that saw it become the unmistakable Burberry signature we know today. When customers began asking specifically for the Burberry Check – the evolution of our house code began.
- In 1967, a buyer in the Burberry Paris store was preparing a fashion presentation and had a ‘flash of inspiration.’ The buyer removed the Burberry Check lining from a Burberry raincoat and wrapped it around a piece of luggage and an umbrella. The Burberry Check accessory was born.
- Over the decades, the Burberry Check has seen many incarnations. The Classic Check scarf was introduced in the 1970s and has become one of our best-known accessories. The Burberry Check was also used for ready-to-wear – featuring prominently in our campaigns throughout the 1980s and 1990s – and is a registered trademark.
- The Burberry Check remains our iconic house code with a new vision for the future – elevated, reworked and reconstructed throughout our collections. No matter the incarnation, it will always be a marker of our history, our craftsmanship and enduring British style.
- Burberry is a British luxury brand, headquartered in London, UK.
- Daniel Lee was announced as Chief Creative Officer at Burberry on 28 September 2022 and will present his debut runway collection at London Fashion Week in February 2023.
- Founded in 1856, Burberry is listed on the London Stock Exchange (BRBY.L) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index.
- BURBERRY, the Equestrian Knight Device, the Burberry Check and the Thomas Burberry Monogram and Print are trademarks belonging to Burberry.
- For more news: burberryplc.com
About Burberry’s Commitment to Protecting Nature
- Burberry aims to be Climate Positive by 2040. This means we will cut our emissions across our value chain by at least 90% by 2040 (from 2019) and neutralise remaining emissions through carbon offset projects.
- All Burberry’s scope 1, 2 and 3 Science Based Targets are approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, the most ambitious designation available, and are aligned to the 1.5°C pathway set out in the Paris Agreement.
- Burberry is committed to protecting nature through materials certifications, responsible sourcing, collaborating with experts to review our strategies and investing in high-quality emissions reductions to support mitigating deforestation globally. We contribute to sustainable management of natural forests and support zero deforestation across our products and supply chain by 2025.
- For more information on our commitments: burberryplc.com/en/responsibility/approach-to-responsibility.html