Mother and Child

Tsinghua University, Beijing, 2012

For their inaugural showing of work in China, Ackroyd & Harvey have regrown Mother and Child (Aka Heather and Adèle) first presented publicly at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California in 1998.

Their pivotal research project* in 1997 with a leading UK environmental research institute (IGER), enabled the artists to confer long-term stability on their transient chlorophyll images with the application of a break-through strain of ‘stay-green’ grass seed and specialised drying methods. The scientists meanwhile took inspiration from the complexity of colour in the artists’ work and have made significant international developments with a range of non-invasive high-resolution imaging techniques. As a result of the pioneering art and science lines of research established a decade ago, in May 2012 the National Plant Phenomics Centre opened at Aberystwyth University in Wales, UK.

At the opening ceremony of the exhibition the artwork was awarded the prestigious Wu Guanzhong Prize for Innovation.

* Funded by the Wellcome Trust Sci-Art Award scheme (1997) and NESTA Pioneer Award (2001)