Beuys’ Acorns, 2007 onwards. Mixed media
A profound interest in the science behind climate change informs the work of Ackroyd & Harvey. Inspired by Joseph Beuys’s 1982 ecological project to plant 7,000 oak trees in Kassel, the artists collected acorns from Beuys’s mature oak trees and planted, germinated and nurtured them. They have planted their young saplings outside on the portico of 6 Burlington Gardens to allow them to harden during the winter months, and in this formative stage of the project are researching how Beuys’s vision of ‘forest-like’ towns and cities may become a necessity in the face of climate change.
Polar Diamond, 2009. Diamond
This new work was created using a polar bear bone found by the artists during a trip to the Arctic with the Cape Farewell project. A complex scientific technique extracted carbon from the residue ash of the cremated bone, and this was then subjected to immense pressure and heat to produce a diamond. Using technology to accelerate a process that usually occurs naturally over millions of years, Polar Diamond questions our sense of value and loss, and asks what price is being paid for carbon.