Trees capture history at Olympic park

Artists Dan Harvey and Heather Ackroyd

Artists Dan Harvey and Heather Ackroyd - Credit: Archant

To go with its iconic buildings, the Olympic park now has ten trees, each with a “hanging time capsule”, that stand at every entrance to the 500 acre public space.

A historic inscription within the ring on the Turkish Hazel. Picture: Nick Turner

A historic inscription within the ring on the Turkish Hazel. Picture: Nick Turner - Credit: Archant

The trees are of all different varieties, from Turkish Hazel to Copper Beech, and support a large metal ring within their crowns made of bronze or stainless steel that is the work of renowned British artists Ackroyd and Harvey.

The rings, six metre in diameter and weighing up to half a tonne, are individually engraved on the interior face with text capturing a piece of history from each location.

“Each tree is like an acupuncture point into the specific area that it’s planted. So the words within the rings are like a time capsule,” said Dan Harvey.

“They speak about the specific position of the tree. It’s a work that I think over the years will just develop.”


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Adriana Marque, head of arts and culture at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, added: “The trees represent the biodiversity and different make up of east London.

“It’s literally like this time capsule hanging in a tree and the trees will be here for 250 years after we have long gone. They will grow with the park.”

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The artwork was funded by the Olympic Delivery Authority and marks an end to the fist run of art commissions that aimed to put culture at the heart of the park.

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