Untitled (Bower)

Untitled (Bower) is part of The Artangel Collection. Since its initial presentation at the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne in the spring of 2018, the work has been shown at Turner Contemporary, Margate and Leeds Art Gallery

  • Artist: Andy Holden 
  • Title: Untitled (Bower)
  • Date: 2017
  • Medium: willow, metal frame, plywood and bark
  • Dimensions: 3.6m x 3.6 x 3m

It is a gorgeous structure: a pathway of willow withies densely woven into an almond-shaped aperture that guides the eye down the room towards the video screens. Like much in nature, it is beautiful, but we tend not to class nature and art as belonging to the same category of beauty. Bowerbirds break the distinction. — Tim Smith-Laing, Apollo Magazine, 2 November 2017

The Bowerbird's bower is not a nest, but a stage. In the hope of attracting a mate, the male bird carefully arranges objects around the bower, guided by considerations of shape and colour. This remarkable behaviour prompted Charles Darwin to consider the bowerbird as the closest thing to an artist found in nature. The final chapter of Andy and Peter Holden's film 'A Natural History of Nest Building' also revolves around this consideration and Andy Holden drew the film and scuptural elements of Natural Selection together around 'Untitled (Bower), a sculpture of a bower on a human scale.  

Image: Andy Holden, A Natural History of Nest Building', 2017, (detail) at Towner Art Gallery, 2018. Photograph: Pete Jones


at Turner Contemporary 

Margate, 25 May - 30 September 2018

Untitled (Bower) was included in the 'Animals and Us' exhibition at Turner Contemporary alongside a new iteration of Andy and Peter Holden's film A Natural History of Nest Building. 'Animals and Us' brought together artworks and artefacts from contemporary and 20th-century artists to explore and reflect upon the relationship between humans and other animals. Featuring work by artists such as Marcus Coates, Kiluanji Kia Henda, and Paula Rego.

Image: Installation view of Andy Holden, Bower (Untitled), 2017 at 'Animals and Us', Turner Contemporary in 2018. Photograph: Stephen White

Previous Presentations

Since the launch of The Artangel Collection, Untitled (Bower) has been installed at