Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey
Sculpture, photography, architecture, and biology are some of the disciplines that intersect in Ackroyd & Harvey’s work, revealing an intrinsic bias towards process and event and often reflecting urban political ecologies by highlighting the temporal nature of processes of growth and decay in sites of architectural interest as well as contemporary art galleries and museums worldwide.
They are acclaimed for large-scale architectural interventions and for their work making complex photographs utilizing the pigment chlorophyll; in 2003 they grew the entire vertical interior space of a disused church in South London, the following year contributed to European Space 9th Sculpture Quadrennial in Riga, Latvia and in 2007 realised their largest temporary living public artwork FlyTower on the exterior of London’s National Theatre; they have received the NESTA Pioneer award, the Wellcome Sci-Art award and the L’Oreal Grand prize for Colour for their photosynthesis based photography and have exhibited this work worldwide including Void Gallery, Derry; SESC Mostra des Artes, Sao Paulo; Bios 4 Andalusian Centre for Contemporary Art, Seville; Big Chill, Herefordshire (UK); Chicago Public Art Program (USA); Agitate SF Camerawork, San Francisco (USA); Traits of Life Exploratorium, San Francisco (USA); Photography and Time V&A Museum, London (UK); Je t’envisage Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne (Switzerland); Paradise Now Exit Art, New York (USA); Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (USA); Rice Gallery, Houston (USA).
In 2012 they were awarded the ‘artist-in-residence’ position at University College London’s Environment Institute. This year they have re-created a work for the Points of View exhibition at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, USA and shown their 17min Stranded DVD at the Capital Offense group exhibition, Beacon Arts, Los Angeles.
In 2011 they were awarded the prestigious Mapping the Park commission for London 2012, a series of individual sculptures entitled History Trees at ten of the major entrances into the Olympic Park. Three of the sculptures will be present for the Games with the remaining seven to be installed for the opening of the Queen Elizabeth II public park. During last year they also exhibited in Terre Vulnerabili at Hangar Bicocca in Milan, continued a Slow Art residency at the Eden Project, were commissioned to make a short film for the What of Earth series, and showed a series of their crystal artworks at the Royal Society summer exhibition.
In the summer of 2010 they created a new commission for Trasparenze Art for Renewable Energy, at MACRO Testaccio, Rome and M.A.D.R.E in Naples, Italy.
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Since 2003, they have made a series of expeditions to the High Arctic with Cape Farewell, looking at the effects of climate change on the ecosystem and have shown the resulting work Stranded, a 6m long whale skeleton encrusted with crystals at London’s Natural History Museum, the Liverpool Biennial 2007, Fundacion Canal in Madrid and Japan’s Miraikan Museum.
In 2007 they embarked on a long term project growing trees germinated from acorns collected from Joseph Beuys’s seminal artwork 7000 Oaks. Currently they have 250 surviving saplings and the trees have been exhibited at Manchester’s Centre for the Urban Built Environment (CUBE) and in 2009/10 at London’s Royal Academy of Arts Earth: Art of a changing world exhibition.
In 2008 they opened Twist, a landmark artwork twenty metres tall on the approach to the city of Bristol. The slate tower has integrated solar and wind-generating capacity produces sufficient energy to light itself. Ackroyd & Harvey have previously been recipients of two Royal Society of Arts Art For Architecture awards.
Ackroyd & Harvey have given many lectures and presentations, notably at the Nobel Laureate Symposium on Creativity, Leadership and Climate Change at London’s Science Museum; Planet Under Pressure, Excel Centre, London; Art & Alchemy, Trinity College, Cambridge; WWEE Forum, Smiths College, Oxford; Royal Academy of Arts, London; London School of Economics, UK; the Royal Society, London; Royal Institute of British Architects, London; Tate Britain, London; Royal National Theatre, London; Manchester International Festival, UK; Oxford University; Courtauld Institute, London; Harvard University, USA; San Francisco Institute of Arts, USA; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, (USA).