Cambridge Science Festival
Ackroyd & Harvey, 'Conflicted Seeds + Spirits', 9 March - 17 April, 2016
David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site, CB2 3QZ
Ackroyd & Harvey are internationally recognized artists acclaimed for time-based artworks that juxtapose nature and man-made structure; sculpture, photography, architecture, ecology and biology are disciplines that intersect in their work revealing an intrinsic bias towards process and event, often reflecting both scientific and environmental concerns.
In 2013, Ackroyd & Harvey were awarded a major public art commission by the University of Cambridge to explore and respond to research themes undertaken by the Department of Zoology and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. In 2016, they will realise a series of artworks, both permanent and temporary for the opening of the David Attenborough Building and its development as a ‘conservation campus’ on the New Museums Site.
In March 2016, Ackroyd & Harvey will present a temporary exhibition in the David Attenborough Building exploring ideas related to conservation of biodiversity, museum collection and human ecologies, building links between biology, conservation and human needs. The exhibition features photography, living plant specimens, film and projection.
Conflicted Seeds + Spirit acknowledges the history of the New Museums Site as original home to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden as a physic garden from the 18th century. A subtle interplay between unique elements draws on and amplifies the haunting strangeness of museum specimens preserved in alcoholic spirit, against the tender life-force of global tree saplings undergoing conservation programmes. It is a poignant study that reveals the risks at stake in our planetary crisis and the hope that can be found in the connectivity of conservation.
Stranded, the artists iconic 6m crystal encrusted whale skeleton will be a featured artwork in the exhibition.
A programme of ancillary events and talks supports the exhibition.