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More than 10,000 trees make up this wooden cave in Bristol’s Royal Fort Gardens

‘A tree of life’ sculpture that spans time and space has been planted in the Royal Fort Gardens in Bristol.

Artist Katie Paterson and architects Zeller & Moye created the structure, called ‘Hollow’, out of more than 10,000 tree species from around the world.

Among the sample is wood from the Methuselah tree, one of the oldest in the world, as well as petrified fossils of Earth’s earliest forests, dating back 390 million years.

Katie Paterson and Zeller & Moye, Hollow, 2016. Courtesy of University of Bristol and Situations Photography: Max McClure
Katie Paterson and Zeller & Moye, Hollow, 2016. Courtesy of University of Bristol and Situations
Photography: Max McClure

‘The hollow interior is an introverted and meditative space where, whether sitting or standing, one finds oneself embraced by history,’ say architects Christoph Zeller and Ingrid Moye.

‘Our design conjoins thousands of wooden blocks of differing sizes to form one immense cosmos of wood producing textures, apertures and stalactites.’

Samples of the Indian Banyan tree, under which Buddha achieved enlightenment, and a Japanese Ginkgo tree that survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima also make up the microcosmic structure.

Katie Paterson and Zeller & Moye, Hollow, 2016. Courtesy of University of Bristol and Situations Photography: Max McClure
Katie Paterson and Zeller & Moye, Hollow, 2016. Courtesy of University of Bristol and Situations
Photography: Max McClure

Little openings in its vaulted top let in just enough light to create the dappled light effect of a forest canopy.

‘Hollow’ will be permanently sited at the Royal Fort Gardens and is accompanied by a digital archive of tree life, run together with BBC Four.

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