From 24 June 2016 the Whitworth will unveil a new public sculpture by internationally acclaimed British artist Anya Gallaccio in Whitworth Park. In only the second permanent public sculpture of her career the artist will reimagine in steel a tree removed from the park during the Whitworth’s £15 million redevelopment by architects MUMA (McInnes Usher McKnight Architects).

During the redevelopment of the Whitworth it was discovered that one of the London Plane trees on the south side of the building had died of natural causes and would need to be removed. Noticing the tree’s absence on a visit to the site Gallaccio chose to give an artistic response to the park’s loss through a permanent and ghostly sculptural commission.

Gallaccio’s work engages with the dualities of nature and transience versus the fixed, traditionally making use of materials usch as flowers, chocolate, fruit and sugar that degrade and change over time.  In a departure from her usual practice Gallaccio reimagines the missing tree of out stainless steel using the architect’s 3D digital architectural scan of the rea.  Through her use of this material she references the heritage of the Whitworth.

Anya Gallaccio, whose work is found in the collections of the Tate, V&A Museum, iStedelijk Museum and Seattle Art Museum, commented, “Usually I would take an existing object and transform it, not making a copy but a new unique object determined by the form and material properties of the original I am interested here in using the data to produce a sculpture that is a ghost of the real tree, without being a replica.”

Anya Gallaccio was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2003 and is a Professor of Fine Art at the University of California, San Diego.  Her permanent public work in the Whitworth Park is supported by the Karpidas Foundation, The Ogilvy Trust, The Art Fund and through a major Exceptional Arts Award from Arts Council England.

In celebration of the new sculpture the galleries Whitworth Young Contemporaries, young people aged 15 -25, will programme Circuit: WARP arts festival taking place from 23 – 26 June 2016. Throughout the weekend festival visitors will experience a range of events for all the family that warp art, music, performance together beneath the trees of the park.