Untitled (Bower)

Untitled (Bower) 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: 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