Secret Structures at Wakehurst

April 12, 2017

We’ve recently been working with Wakehurst in West Sussex to design their new Secret Structures exhibition.

Wakehurst is home to a 16th-century mansion, set in 500 acres of garden which includes a botanic garden,  woodland, wetland conservation areas, Kew Garden’s Millennium Seed Bank- the world’s largest seed conservation project- and exhibition spaces.

Wakehurst’s new exhibition, Secret Structures, provides an opportunity to not only marvel at plants and fungi, but to learn from them and better understand our need to protect them.

Inside the exhibition an interactive table peels back the layers of scanned objects including a Brazil nut and an orchid to reveal their intricate innards, the complex and normally hidden root system of an excavated oak tree are revealed, and a light sculpture created by the exhibition’s Artist in Residence, Perdita Sinclair, is suspended from the ceiling.

We developed multimedia displays for the exhibition which explore the unusual, secret and curious sides of a number of specimens, including Brazil nuts, walnuts and orchids. The displays cover the incredible role oak trees play in supporting biodiversity in the UK, the complex process of propagating orchids and Kew Science’s expertise, and why you should think twice about falling asleep under a walnut tree (they cunningly secrete chemicals to poison nearby plants).

The exhibition has a star exhibit, with the excavated oak tree having been featured on the BBC4 programme Oak Tree: Nature’s Greatest Survivor.

Secret Structures’ opening was covered on BBC South East.

It is open until March 2018, for more information see Wakehurst’s website.  


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