Anya Gallaccio


Gallaccio is a Paisley born site-specific, minimalist installation artist​.  She studied at Kingston Polytechnic and Goldsmiths College​.  She mainly works with organic matter such as flowers/sugar/ice/chocolate etcShe is interested in the process of decay, transformation ​and entropy.

Her work unfolds and develops over time, resulting in unpredictable outcomes.  The viewer will have a new experience every time they visit one of her exhibitions as time changes the work.  What can start out as something beautiful at the beginning of an exhibition can become increasingly unpleasant as decay sets in with the passing of time​.  Due to the fact the work is constantly changing it can be difficult to document and exists as a memory​.

Gallaccio choice of ephemeral material in her work is a reaction to the current consumerist culture.  The temporality of her work is a reaction to our current throw away and discard approach to our environment.

In one of her early works from 1993, Anya covered benches and cardboard panels in chocolate and encouraged the viewers to touch and lick the work.  She went on to develop this theme further with her  2004 exhibition at Jupiter Artland where Gallaccio coated old farm building in 90lb of 70% cocoa chocolate and again invited the audience to lick, touch and stroke the walls.

As Ralph Rugoff explains,

Gallaccio’s mutable flower pieces defy any illusion that we, as spectators, are privy to a transcendent or authentic experience – there is no true moment, no definitive point of view, for our encounter with this art, as the work we witness today will have changed in a week’s time, and ultimately remains as elusive and changeable as that mysterious entity, the self.

  • ​One of Gallaccio’s best know works was Preserve ‘beauty’ 1991 – 2003.  In this work hundreds of flowers were displayed under glass that decompose 


This work was further developed into ‘Red on Green’. 
10,000 red roses were laid like a deep pile rug or field on the gallery floor.   “Fragrant, soft and velvety, the voluptuousness of the roses en masse evokes romance and decadence that is slowly allowed to blacken like scabs and die.”




In 2000 her work ‘Because Nothing has Changed’ – consisted of a bronze tree sculpture adorned with porcelain apples 

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This work was further explored in 2002 entitled ‘Because I Could Not Stop.  In this work she had a similar sized tree this time adorned with real apples that were left to rot

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In a break away from decay Gallaccio , remained with her tree theme but created a permanent structure.  Her untitled 2015 work is a stainless-steel tree and plays with ideas of reflection.

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​Aspire was a 1999 work using plywood rings and candles to create candelabras.  The candles were left to melt.  As the wax hit the gallery floor, the floor became a work of art also



plywood, candles, teflon rope
200 cm. diameter x 3
78 3/4 in. diameter x 3

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In her 1996  work, Absolute  4 metre square cubes of ice were placed in a gallery and left to melt.  The four ice blocks of equal size melt away over a period of time.  The temporary nature of the work, highlights the fragility of life.