22 JANUARY - 4 APRIL 2004
Heather Ackroyd’s + Dan Harvey’s medium is nature itself; millions of grass blades provide a uniform, light-sensitive surface on which the artists use to create their unique form of photography. Green brick, green back was prepared and grown on site two weeks prior to the opening of the exhibition. Ackroyd + Harvey transformed the gallery into a huge, temporary darkroom and projected a negative onto a growing wall of seedling grass. Where the light falls the grass produces the green pigment chlorophyll; where no light falls the grass grows bright yellow as a result of other light-independent pigments. The tonal range found in a black and white photograph is created in the grass in many shades of yellow and green.
The enlarged image of bricks and mortar is taken from this building, Sewall Hall, and suggests a sense of exterior made interior, and hard made soft. So, too, the image of the dollar bill, folded to echo the structure of the brick columns, reverses the notion of “hard” currency by re-creating it in the tender grass. Bricks and dollars can be seen as building blocks signifying security and permanence; rendered in grass they become mutable and ephemeral.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Ackroyd + Harvey have worked together since 1990 when they discovered they both used grass as an artistic medium.They were both born in England in 1959, and completed their fine arts studies in the United Kingdom in the early 1980s, Heather at Manchester Metropolitan University, Cheshire, and Dan at Cardiff College of Art, Wales and Royal College of Art, London. Their recent large-scale projects include Dilston Grove, commissioned by LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre), London (2003); Field Study, a Special Commission for National Eisteddfod, Wales (2003); Supernatural (after Piero di Cosimo)and Specific Natures, commissioned by the Chicago Public Art Program (2003); Sunbathers, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales (2002), United Kingdom; Afterlife, Beaconsfield, London (2001); and Presence, an exhibition of works created during their residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, Boston (2001). In 2002, their work was featured in the group showTraits of Life at The Exploratorium, San Francisco; and in 2000, their work was included in Paradise Now: Picturing the Genetic Revolution, Exit Art, New York, and Creating Sparks andBreathless! Photography and Time, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London(2000, 1999). Ackroyd and Harvey received the Pioneer Art and Science Award from the National Endowment for Science, Technology & Arts (NESTA), United Kingdom in 1999, and the L’Oreal Art and Science of Color Grand Prize for Mother and Child in 2000. Heather, Dan, and their daughter, Adele live in Dorking, England. Artsadmin, United Kingdom, represents the artists.