The Calyx: Plants with Bite

Plants with Bite was launched today at The Calyx in Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens. I absolutely adore this venue. I’ve only visited it once before, just after it was officially opened. If you want to read my review on their exhibition on the history of chocolate, click here. If the exhibitions don’t interest you, visit just to see the largest interior green wall in the southern hemisphere.

This blog is going to consist mostly of photographs. This is because it was a visually beautiful exhibition. The layout and use of graphics in particular made the exhibition aesthetically appealing. The retro graphics on the exhibition panels spoke to the film Little Shop of Horrors and reminded me of old horror movie posters. Finding this pop culture link and including it in the exhibition was a smart move.

I remember being traumatised as a child seeing Little Shop of Horrors as a stage show and then as a movie. They did have a large model of Audrey in the exhibition which did re-invigorate my fear of Venus Fly Traps. Then again, I now love the film and its quirkiness. Long live Audrey.

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It’s Audrey!

The exhibition is all in one greenhouse space consisting of a few separate garden boxes. There was minimal interpretation with only occasional small red signs as you can see in the photographs below. I don’t think I would have wanted more text in the space. Similar to the chocolate exhibition, there was an app available that probably provided a lot more information for those seeking a more in depth learning experience.

I was just wanting to appreciate the exhibition from an aesthetic point of view. It was interesting to see how the plants were organised. Rather than all of one type in one area, they were dispersed throughout the whole display. This meant that when it got really busy you didn’t miss out on seeing a selection of each plant. I was grateful for this layout because when we arrived, around lunch time, there were quite a few people.

Before posting the photographs, I must thank my friend Emily for sending me some of her amazing photographs. I’ve credited them below. Where possible, I’ve also tried to provide captions.

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Sculpture outside the main entrance of The Calyx.
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Information desk for the exhibition located at the entrance.
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Photograph by Emily Cullen.
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Close-up of the Venus Fly Traps by Emily Cullen.
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Photograph by Emily Cullen.
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First garden box in the exhibition. In this photograph you can see the small red tags used to identify the plants. In each of the small pools were a selection of sculptures created to look like the carnivorous plants.
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Photograph featuring a section of the vertical plant wall.
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One of the garden boxes showing how all the plants were on display together.
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Close-up of a Pitcher Plant, named such because they look like a pitcher.
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An example of a label.
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Some of the pools were omitting vapour to maintain the humdity levels in the exhibition.

 

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The garden boxes each contained a number of Pitcher Plants.
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Mini Venus Fly Traps.
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Quite a few visitors enjoying the exhibition.
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Close-up of a Snap Trap.
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Loved the graphics!
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An exhibition banner featuring an Ibis.

Author: Rebecca Lush

Curator at the Integrated Pathology Learning Centre.

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