Hollow | Katie Paterson with Zeller & Moye
Permanent commission for University of Bristol, UK, 2016

Hollow is a permanent public artwork created by artist Katie Paterson in collaboration with architects Zeller & Moye and in association with members of the School of Biological Sciences for Bristol’s Royal Fort Gardens. Hollow houses a miniature forest of all the world’s trees. Inside Hollow, you will discover 10,000 unique tree species, which have been gathered by the artist from almost every country on the planet. Under your feet lie fossils, which span 390 million years, and above you thousands of unique tree samples connect across time and space, each with their own story to tell. 

The relationship these trees have had with the environment, its water and its sunlight, and the plants, animals and fungi that lived with them, can be traced in the wood’s surfaces, once the living, growing part of the tree: from the Indian Banyan Tree, under which the Buddha achieved enlightenment; to the Japanese Gingko tree in Hiroshima (a tree that witnessed and survived one of the darkest moments of human history); to common, but no less remarkable trees. Entering Hollow is to enter the history of our planet. Hollow was commissioned in 2016 for Royal Fort Gardens in Bristol in South West England, to celebrate the opening of the University of Bristol’s Life Sciences building.

Hollow‘s website offers the opportunity to explore the stories and responses to the artwork.