‘The Pearlfisher Garden’ at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show celebrates the largest garden in the world to draw attention to the impact of plastic pollution
‘The Pearlfsher Garden’ celebrating the largest garden in the world – the underwater garden of our great oceans – features as one of the 2018 Show gardens at the annual and prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
With a staggering 32% of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced annually left to flow into our oceans * – the equivalent of pouring one rubbish truck of plastic into the ocean every minute – The Pearlfisher Garden visualises the plight of a planet drowning in waste with an innovative garden design showcasing the dichotomy of the beauty and destruction present in our oceans.
The Pearlfisher Garden consists of a series of below-water level aquatic tanks that transport visitors into a unique underwater world. Beneath a 3D-printed sculpture of a Pearl Diver – or Japanese Ama – made from recycled PLA plastic, specimen planting including cacti, succulents and exotics have been used to creatively juxtapose the beauty and possible desertification of the world’s most precious garden, whilst live fish remind visitors of the threat to the food chain posed by ocean plastics and their associated toxins. At the centre of the garden sits ‘The Coral Man’ from renowned sculptor and environmentalist, Jason deCaires Taylor. The Pearlfisher Garden partner, Tŷ Nant, has provided 500 of their iconic water bottles to fill the boundary walls of the installation, representing how much plastic packaging is thrown into the oceans every 2.5 seconds.
The concept and design for The Pearlfisher Garden is the brainchild of Pearlfisher Founding Creative Partner, Karen Welman. She and the Pearlfisher team have worked in close partnership with RHS multi-gold and silver medal award-winner, John Warland to bring the design to life.
As Karen Welman, explains, “Pearlfisher has designed thousands of brands into existence over the past twenty-five years. The Garden underlines our desire and challenger mindset to use our design expertise and lightweighting design ethos to remove waste and reduce the environmental impact of everything we create, with our clients and partners. We are committed to finding the best ways to bring our approach to life and nothing is more real and tangible than this Garden installation that we purposefully designed to surprise, delight, challenge, shock and engage.
My hope is that the Pearlfisher Garden will become a visual legacy to inspire and educate people to rethink the impact of their actions and to encourage designers, brands and businesses to design lightweight life-cycles for the packaging and products of the future.”
Jonathan Ford, Pearlfisher Founding Partner and Creative Director of The Pearlfisher Garden said, “This is design with a purpose and message conveyed through an immersive experience. It highlights a very real global issue in a thought-provoking and desirable way. The message is that design and creative thinking can help solve the waste problem and protect the biggest living legacy we have.”
Adding to this, award-winning garden designer, John Warland, said, “The Pearlfisher Garden has been a huge – but immensely rewarding – creative challenge as we bring the hidden beauty of our underwater world, and largest garden on earth, to the very heart of the city in SW1. It challenges perceptions on both an aesthetic and intellectual level to drive home its crucial message through a stunningly unique and sustainable design that showcases just what we are set to lose if we don’t take immediate action. Mother Nature is, of course, the ultimate designer, and we should all be thinking about the impact we are making and how we can work with, rather than against, nature to create a better, more beautiful and more sustainable world for us all. It’s been an unbelievable privilege to be part of the team bringing this very special Garden to life.”
To find out more about The Pearlfisher Garden, visit the website.
Held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 runs daily from 22-26 May 2018.
* Source: World Economic Forum – The New Plastics Economy Report