Nest Collection (ongoing)

Nest Collection (ongoing) is part of The Artangel Collection. It was initially presented at the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne in spring of 2018, before being exhibited at the Leeds art Gallery in Leeds.

  • Artist: 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

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