Ackroyd & Harvey

Ackroyd & Harvey

Ackroyd & Harvey have exhibited extensively in contemporary art galleries, museums, public spaces and sites of special interest internationally. The artists give high profile keynotes and public presentations and contribute writings and photographs to books and journals.

Their multi-disciplinary work intersects art, activism, architecture, biology, ecology and history, and references memory and time, nature and culture. Anthropogenic climate change and biosphere degradation are key subjects in their practice interfacing their profound interest in local ecologies and global environmental concerns. Processes of germination, growth and decay (organic and inorganic), erosion and deposition, feature in artworks that often evolve through extended research in response to people and place, interfacing their profound interest in local ecologies and planetary concerns with socio-political paradigms. In 2019, Ackroyd & Harvey co-founded Culture Declares Emergency in response to the climate and ecological emergency.

In their multi-award winning photographic work, blades of seedling grass provide a highly light-sensitive surface that the artists use to create a unique form of photography, imprinting complex images in the living material through the controlled production of chlorophyll. They have received the Royal Academy Rose Award, Wu Guanzhong Prize for Art & Innovation, NESTA Pioneer Award, Wellcome Trust Sci-Art Award, and exhibited worldwide including the Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas; WOMADelaide, Australia; Le Centquatre-Paris, France; Festival Images, Switzerland; Hangar Bicocca, Milan, Italy; Void, Derry, N. Ireland; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, USA; Mostra SESC des Artes, Brazil; Chicago Public Arts Program, USA; Rice Gallery, Houston, USA.

Equally renowned for their monumental architectural interventions, Ackroyd & Harvey act upon iconic or heritage buildings with living plant material, intercepting perceptions of place and landscape. Commissions include the ARoS Triennial, Aarhus Art Museum, Denmark; Royal National Theatre, London; Dilston Grove, London, UK; 9th Sculpture Quadrennial, Riga, Latvia; Wellington Festival of Arts, New Zealand; Theaterhaus Gessneralle, Zurich, Switzerland.
They have been recipients of major public art awards including a major public art commission History Trees for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, where a series of individual sculptures comprising semi-mature trees holding six meter diameter engraved rings mark ten of the major entrances into the park.

Beuys’ Acorns is an ongoing research work initiated by the artists in 2007. They germinated and grew hundreds of oak trees from acorns collected from Joseph Beuys’s seminal artwork “7000 Oaks”. The initial research phase (2007-2017) focused on Beuys’ statement that all towns and cities should become ‘forest-like’, and culminated in a six city road tour across France and formed the inspiration to a large-scale intervention, Radical Action Reaction,premiering early December 2015 at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris during the United Nations Conference of All Parties on Climate Change, COP21.

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