Tree-inspired immersive art installation to take root in Broadmead today

Tree-inspired immersive art installation to take root in Broadmead today

Posted on: 19 Aug 2022

Overstory, the long-awaited art installation by Heather Peak and Ivan Morrison, has finally landed in Broadmead.  


The exhibition, presented by the Bristol Natural History Consortium, was inspired by native trees and is designed to evoke the tree canopy – and draw attention to its importance.


The free-to-attend installation runs from today (Friday 19) until Tuesday 30 August and is located in Broadmead West.



Savita Willmot, Director of the Natural History Consortium, described the idea behind the project as “to explore the role of trees, urban trees, tree canopies, tree cover and all the associated issues around bringing trees into our cities.”


She went on to speak on the unexpected timeliness of the exhibition coming on the back of a heatwave, and how “it puts into stark focus, for so many of us, the importance of shade, the importance of natural spaces and the role of trees in our cities.”


We also spoke with Ivan Morrison, one of the two artists behind Overstory, who described to us how they worked with Strathclyde University to take microscope pictures of the inside of tree rings – a lime and an oak – working with the natural dyes used in microscope photography to bring out their vibrant colours.

With the exhibition also comes a veritable tree festival – the NHC are working with the woodland trust to run an activity centre in Broadmead, complete with face painting, crafts activities, and a stall where they’re giving out free trees to take home and plant in your garden. This will be carried out in support of Bristol's new tree planting target of doubling the city's trees by 2050.


The activity centre is also a hub for the Broadmead Tree Trail – a series of trees being hosted in shops around Broadmead, such as in Sobey’s at The Bristol Arcade. Complete the trail and you’ll receive a “nature prize” – as well as the chance to win a £100 LoveBristol voucher.


The project is being delivered as one of the activities under the City Centre and High Streets Recovery and Renewal programme, investing in the culture and events sector to help the recovery of the city centre and Bristol’s high streets. Overstory is the first headline commission to be funded through the council to encourage people to visit and stay in the area.

Overstory is totally free – just head down to Broadmead, at the bottom of Union Street – and look up. It lasts until the end of the month, although the tree trail only lasts until Thursday 25 August. For more information, check out the NHC’s website here.


Images: Patrick Bate (

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Patrick Bate

Patrick is a filmmaker with so much Bristol in his blood the white blood cells are graffiti'd. Educated at the Northern Film School in Leeds, he’s returned home to be a Videographer and Reviewer for 365Bristol and BARBI. When he’s not messing about with cameras, he enjoys playing guitar, spending far too much time on tabletop RPGs, and being an awful snob about cider. Have a look at his work here, or get in touch at