Fabulae Naturae, Lost Species Drapery

Studio Orta - Lost Species Drapery
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Date: 2023
Materials: Print on recyclable mesh
Dimensions: Triptych 18 x 3,5 metres each
Exhibition history: 2023 Granary Building, King’s Cross, London, UK
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta. Photography John Sturrock

Three striking 18-metre (60-foot) draperies titled 'Fabulae Naturae' adorn the façade of the iconic Granary Building in London, paying homage to the interdependency and diversity of wildlife. The ‘dressing’ of the building sees the monumental triptych as a visual database of species, featuring images of flora photographed by Lucy + Jorge Orta during their expeditions to the Amazon. These are intricately collaged together with images of everyday plant and animal species that co-habit an imaginary world, with fantastical creatures like unicorns and shapeshifters. The intertwining of real and extraordinary animals featured on the draperies seeks to remind onlookers of the symbiotic web of interdependence between living beings and the planet.

The draperies are one of a series of public facing artworks created by Lucy + Jorge Orta during a 12-month residency in King's Cross. The artists' Lost Species project put young people at its heart, promoting a journey of discovery about species diversity both past and present, whilst drawing our attention to the significant decline across Great Britain. Community-centred workshops using the Lost Species resources designed by Lucy Orta offered insights on how to safeguard endangered wildlife.

The project was supported by King’s Cross Artist in Residence Programme 2022-2023 and University of the Arts London Climate Emergency Network.