Hollow: new art installation now open in Bristol

Date Posted: 09/05/2016

The University of Bristol has unveiled a new public artwork by artist Katie Paterson and architects Zeller & Moye called Hollow, which is made of thousands of tree samples from around the world. 

The artwork, which is big enough to walk around, will be permanently sited in the historic Royal Fort Gardens at the university.

Hollow is the result of three years of research and sourcing, and is essentially a miniature forest of all the worlds’ trees.

Trees from all over the world

The individual tree samples – all 10,000 of them – have been gathered from across the globe, from Yakushima in Japan to the White Mountains of California.

Tree species have been donated from places such as the Herbario Nacional de Mexico; the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew; Kyoto University; and the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard in America.

Groups going to see Hollow will be able to observe a segment from the oldest tree in the world as well as some of the youngest and near-extinct species.

Some tree samples are also historically significant, like the Indian Banyan Tree, under which Buddha is said to have achieved enlightenment, and the Japanese Ginkgo tree in Hiroshima that survived the atomic bomb.

What does Hollow look like? 

Hollow is a miniature forest, and the exterior cluster structure reflects a forest canopy ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the interior tells the history of the planet through over 10,000 unique tree species, from petrified wood fossils of the earliest forests that emerged 390 million years ago to the most recent emergent species.

Hollow is free to enter, and audio guides are available to explain the different species.

Professor Guy Orpen, deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Bristol said: “We’re very excited to see Hollow in situ at Royal Fort Gardens – it’s quite amazing to think that trees of all ages, from so many different families and from all corners of the earth, will be represented.”

The Hollow artwork has been commissioned to mark the opening of the University of Bristol’s new Life Sciences building, also in the Royal Fort Gardens.

For further information visit www.hollow.org.uk.

Photo credit: Max McClure.

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