Client: Brisbane City Council
Location: City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane
Features: multi-level sandpits catering to a variety of children’s wheelchair heights
Materials: Stainless steel, bronze, copper, custom water dripping system
The Apparatus for Germination of Achaemienis Ambulatii (Pony Plant) is a sculpture in my ‘imagined histories’ series as well as a bespoke all-abilities playground sandpit. The germinator is the last remnant of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Achaemienus Ambulatii Germination and Research Facility. Built in 1872, it hoped to bring the Pony Plant, a terrestrial bromeliad and the world’s only known walking plant back from the brink of extinction.
The robust, ambulatory ‘flowers’ could support the weight of a small child. It is perhaps unsurprising that its popularity in gardens and sideshows around the world lead to its eventual demise.