Phyllotaxis Scotland (Sjoerd Buisman)

Image of a sculpture
Credit: Graeme Murray
Type of object

Sculpture or other artwork

Current situation


Current location, if known

Allowed to decay in situ


Constructed from peat logs/briquettes - an early example of environmental, degradable art, it was allowed to decay over the course of the Festival/


  1. Stephen Beddoe says:

    I was a recently graduated sculpture student from GSA in 1988. I was employed by the art team (the Director of Arts was the formidable Isabelle Vasseur) to support and install a number of the sculptures on the site. One of the sculptures I worked on was Sjoerd Buisman’s phyllotaxis. I worked directly with Snoerd for 2 weeks to build the sculpture. The sculpture was a circular spiral shape about 1m high by about 6m in diameter. Interestingly it was built in situ made completely out of freshly cut peat logs/briquettes, which were delivered on pallets. Me and Sjoerd built the entire sculpture out of these peat bricks, one by one, like peat Lego. It was meant to degrade and decay over time and was never meant to be permanent- it was an early example of environmental and degradable art. PS, I also worked on a number of other sculpture installations at the GGF- including the Saniel Buren striped shipping bollards.

    1. Stephen – thanks so much for getting in touch. This is fascinating – all we previously knew about Phyllotaxis Scotland is its appearance in the official guide to the Artworks Programme – on re-examination the construction material seems clear; I assume we can safely say it was allowed to degrade in situ to the extent we can mark it as ‘destroyed’. Would be very keen to hear more details around Buren’s ‘170 Bollards’, which – given its partly extant state – is a work of greater current significance. We’ll send you an email… thanks again!

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