Nest Collection (ongoing)

Nest Collection (ongoing) is part of The Artangel Collection. Since its initial presentation at the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne, it has been exhibited at Leeds Art Gallery, CAST, Cornwall and Inverleith House, Edinburgh 


  • : Andy Holden
  • Title: Nest Collection (ongoing)
  • Date: 2010 - ongoing
  • Medium: vitrine including 17 birds nests, 3 nest sculptures, 23 books, video projection, porcelain egg and wallpaper
  • Dimensions: vitrine 2650 x 1000 x 1950mm
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We have long rejoiced at birds building nests in unusual places. We love the robin rearing chicks in an old teapot, a hen blackbird sitting tightly on a nest tucked above the stop bulb on a traffic light: these are nests that gesture towards hope, as birds use our things for their own ends, making our technologies redundant, slowed down, static, full of meaning that is no longer entirely our own. But that is what nests are. Their meaning is always woven from things that are partly bird and partly human, and as the cup or wall of a nest is raised, it raises, too, questions about our own lives. – Helen Macdonald, The Guardian, 9 September 2017

'Nest Collection (ongoing)' is a vitrine containing Andy Holden's own collection of nests, which he began accumulating in 2010. Against a wallpaper of illustrations in the style of Victorian bird-watching books, the vitrine contains seventeen nests made by birds and three made by the artist, arranged on plinths and ledges of books. This nod to traditional art exhibition design muddles the status of the nests and encourages the audience to consider their relationship to sculpture.


Image: Andy Holden, Nest Collection (ongoing), 2010 - ongoing, (detail) at Towner Art Gallery, 2018. Photograph: Alison Beettles

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at Groundwork

Helston, Cornwall, 01 - 23 September 2018

Nest Collection (ongoing) was exhibited at Groundwork, a season of international art organised by CAST (The Cornubian Arts & Science Trust). Andy Holden opened the season, with a live performance of his acclaimed 'Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape' and closed it with a presentation of his Natural Selection films and a selection of nests from his ongoing collection.


Image: Andy Holden, Nest Collection (ongoing), 2017 presented at CAST, Cornwall in 2018. Photo: Courtesy of CAST

Previous Presentations

Since the launch of The Artangel Collection, Nest Collection (ongoing) has been installed at