Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Australian landscape at the British museum.

In 2011, the British museum, in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, commission an Australian themed installation in the forecourt by the main entrance.   The installation allowed visitors to take a journey across the whole continent, from eastern Australia’s coastal habitat, through the arid red centre, to the western Australian granite outcrop featuring unique and highly endangered plants. The landscape showcased the rich biodiversity of Australia, and how these fragile systems are under threat from land usage and climate change.

A selection of the indigenous flora in the museum's temporary landscape are utilised in the cut flower trade and species such as Banksia, Anigozanthos and Allocasuarina are gradually replacing familiar flowers such as lilies, gladioli and carnations.

In order to fully immerse visitors in the outback experience, Alan Bishop created life-sized granite boulders using images taken by the British Museum team on a research trip.    You can take a look at the rocks and garden being created in the British Museum's photostream here: and see other images and a video at Alan bishop's site.

Alan Bishop's granite rocks based on the granite rocks below

The Australian landscape was displayed for almost six months with the plants and rocks finally removed in October 2011.    For less (semi) permanent displays, lightweight rocks can be hired from

Lightweight artificial granite rocks

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