2021, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK         


Timber, heather, string, 5 x 14 x 14 m

Commissioned by The Oak Project in partnership with Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Silence Alone in a World of Wounds was unveiled at Yorkshire Sculpture Park on World Environment Day on 5 June 2021. It is a sculptural space made of natural materials, including timber and thatch, that acts as an extended open pavilion with passageways and a chamber providing space for quiet reflection and connection to the natural world. To discover the inner passageway, the visitor must first circle the structure, walking mindfully beneath the overhang of thatched roof. Once inside, a series of staggered doorways gradually lead one along a contemplative cloister-like path to its heart. Views to the central space are screened by paper walls, and turf is visible above as an underlay to the thatch. Its inwardly sloping roof, blanketed with twenty-five tonnes of fragrant, hand-tied heather, intensifies the noiselessness as one walks. The central chamber encircles a ring of fourteen silver birches. There are two seating areas for contemplation: one around the exterior perimeter and another inside, sheltered by the overhanging eaves.

Informed by research evidence from the Nature Connectedness Research Group at the University of Derby, the work is a circle, set within nature, and a place for silence, creating an area of calm contemplation. Silence invites us to stop and connect, to consider and experience and to listen to our natural surroundings.
The idea of creating a place for silence has a dual meaning. As well as being silent, there is the idea that the natural world is itself becoming more silent due to the effects of climate change. The work is constructed from sustainable materials within the West Bretton estate at YSP, including local timber, hand-tied heather, and compressed earth. It will degrade naturally over a period of years, becoming a habitat for wildlife and slowly returning to the earth, leaving only a faint imprint on the landscape. ‘In time, there will be just two concentric circles left’, says Ivan Morison. With its gradual deterioration, the structure fits with the artists’ long-held interest in ruins. ‘We think of our work as ruins for the future. They’re incomplete. They have a function that you can’t quite put your finger on’, says Ivan.

In many ways, Silence embodies the Morisons’ sustained efforts, now stretching more than fifteen years, to transcend the division between art and architecture, as well as their mission to bring meaning, beauty, and purpose into everyday life, to connect people with each other and with their surroundings. To create, in other words, a new relationship with nature.


‘Silence is an exceptional sculpture, forged from earth, timber, paper, and living trees. Holding light, space, and stillness, it is a place of peace, an oasis of calm in which people will be inspired, moved, and rejuvenated. Joining other works of land art at Yorkshire Sculpture Park by James Turrell, Andy Goldsworthy, and David Nash –
as well as the natural tree canopies that form spiritual spaces in the park – Heather Peak and Ivan Morison’s work contributes to the canon of sculpture in the open air, which now more than ever is so relevant and meaningful.’

Clare Lilley, Director, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Photographers’ credits       

Installation images_ Charles Emerson

Love Me or Leave Me Alone        


Love Me or Leave Me Alone, The Very Public Art of Heather Peak and Ivan Morison presents a journey through the past decade and a half of the artists’ practice, with an emphasis on their pavilions, escape vehicles, and public artworks.  The book can be ordered from the publishers Art/Books
Press contact        

If you can’t find the information you are looking for you can contact the studio of Heather Peak and Ivan Morison here: studio@peakmorison.org