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This public artwork was orginally commissioned by York Art Gallery for its refurbished Artist's Garden.


The garden lies within the historic St. Mary's Precinct which is surrounded by defensive walls and contains the ruins of the abbey. The artwork responded to the varied uses of the garden throughout its history including orchards, market gardens, the site of the Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Fair and military barracks. It took the form of ten ceramic tree trunks arranged in two parallel rows. The trunks are naturalistic in form but their arrangement suggests something man-made. They can be read as the petrified remains of an orchard or the ruins of a small bulding.


The artwork's title - Foundation Myths - relates to the idea of former uses and multiple histories as well as the origin myths of architecture itself. It was installed in the summer 2016 with the intention to stay for one year. Having been in place for an additional year, it will now be re-sited permanently at Grizedale Sculpture Park. For the last three months, eight of the trees have been displayed at Hauser and Wirth Somerset as part of the The Land We Live In, The Land We Left Behind exhibition. Two trees have been retained by York Art Gallery for their collection.


Foundation Myths was designed by Ordinary Architecture.

Foundation Myths

Charles Holland Architects

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