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Plant and Sculpture Exhibition 'Inside the Tide' Has Taken Over The Calyx at the Royal Botanic Garden

Over 20,000 plants have been installed, including one of the largest vertical green walls in the southern hemisphere.
By Ben Hansen
December 06, 2021
By Ben Hansen
December 06, 2021

A new exhibition exploring the beauty of underwater plant life has opened at the Royal Botanic Garden's outdoor exhibition space, The Calyx. Inside the Tide recreates kelp forests, coral reefs and seagrass meadows above the ground — using land plants in order to demonstrate the marvelous aesthetic and ecological value of these marine environments.

"When most people hear the word seaweeds, they think of the dead stuff rotting on the beach or it touching their legs when they're trying to swim," Dr Yola Metti says. "There's a huge lack of awareness of the benefits of marine algae in general. One of the biggest things we can be thankful for is the amount of oxygen algae produce."

Over 20,000 plants have been installed inside the venue, including one of the largest vertical green walls in the southern hemisphere. The plant wall, that most recently played home to thousands of flowers for the exhibition InBloom, now springs forward with the lush green tones of underwater plant life.

"Our land plants are the actors with cactus and other succulents playing the roles of corals, and ferns and ivy becoming the seaweeds," Royal Botanic Garden Sydney Curator Manager David Laughlin said. "We have pandanus trees on the sandy shore with mock seagrass meadows we've created to feel like you're by the beach but in the heart of the city, surrounded by our beautiful gardens."

The horticultural exhibition has been created in collaboration with puppetry and arts collective Erth who has helped transform The Calyx into a marine world with expressive sculptures of sea creatures and interactive elements that both children and adults can engage with.

Inside the Tide is running from Friday, December 3 through until July next year. Throughout the exhibition, The Calyx will be open 10am–4pm daily and entry is available via donation.

This exhibition marks the reopening of The Calyx following InBloom and maintenance that was conducted during Sydney's lockdown. The new exhibition took horticultural staff months to install and prepare.

The Calyx is located at The Royal Botanic Garden, Mrs Macquaries Road. Inside the Tide will run from Friday, December 3, 2021–July 2022.

Published on December 06, 2021 by Ben Hansen
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