Silent Spring

Silent Spring 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 and Inverleith House in Edinburgh.

  • Artist: Andy Holden and Geoffrey Leeson
  • Title: Silent Spring
  • Date: 2016
  • Medium: turned wood
  • Dimensions: variable.  Plinths 800 x 400 x 400mm

Nearby is a series of turned-wood sculptures made by Geoffrey Leeson, which similarly use the waveforms of bird song to create their form. A continuity emerges between acts of making that are shared by both humans and birds. By subverting the familiar forms and structures through which we study, interpret, and significantly, appropriate other life forms, 'Natural Selection' not only undermines the authority of the human as artist-creator, but also proposes an alternative scenario for living together. — Joseph Constable, Art Monthly, October 2017  

Silent Spring is a suite of sculptures turned in wood. Each sculpture is a translation of the zig zag pattern of a recorded bird call, as shown on a sonograph. Representing a blackbird, wren, robin, mistle thrush and house sparrow, this cluster of sculptures takes its title from Rachel Carson's 1962 book, which connected the absence of bird song with declining bird populations as result of pesticide poisoning. 

Image: Andy Holden & Geoffrey Leeson, Silent Spring, 2016 at Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne. Photo by Alison Beettles


at Leeds Art Gallery

08 June - 02 September

Silent Spring was exhibited at the Leeds Art Gallery alongside rarely-seen watercolours of birds by J.M.W Turner from the gallery's permanent collection. The presentation in Leeds marked the second part of the UK tour of Andy Holden and Peter Holden's collaborative installation Natural Selection.

Image: Andy Holden & Geoffrey Leeson, Silent Spring, 2016 installed at Leeds Art Gallery in 2018. Photo by Simon Warner

Previous Presentations

Since the launch of The Artangel Collection, Silent Spring has been installed at