Ackroyd & Harvey

1. Ackroyd & Harvey, Face to Face, 2012, staygreen grass & clay. Installation view: Domaine de Chamarande, France, 2012. Photo Ackroyd & Harvey. Copyright & courtesy Ackroyd & Harvey. / 2. Ackroyd & Harvey, Stranded (detail), 2006, minke whale skeleton & alum crystals, 700 x 180 cm. Photo Ackroyd & Harvey. Copyright & courtesy Ackroyd & Harvey. / 3. Poet Zena Edwards in the Cultura Declares Emergency launch procession to Tate Modern, London, July 17, 2019. Photo Kelly Hill. Copyright Kelly Hill, courtesy Kelly Hill & Ackroyd & Harvey.


“In 1997, the artists embarked on their collaboration with Dr Thomas and Dr Ougham in Wales to develop a specialised new strain of grass, where they became deeply involved in research into photosynthesis and chlorophyll. Ackroyd & Harvey’s living, dying photographs in grass are portraits of senescence – the process of leaf death and chlorophyll loss in plants. The artists have developed their own form of photography in which light-sensitive blades of grass replace light-sensitive paper, and the full tonal range of black through white is rendered in shades of yellow through green. In a sense, they are conceptual and material inversions of their crystal skeletons. Whereas the skeletons are rescued remains embalmed, spared from decay through time and the elements, the images in grass are transient, decaying and fading with every passing second. Both ways of working are meditations on past, present, and future, and on life and death. Above all else, they reflect the delicacy, vulnerability, and fragility of the natural world.”

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