ProjectMaking A Stand

CategoryArt & Installation

LocationCity Square, Leeds

ClientLeeds 2023



A feat of engineering that provides a haven for natural reflection in Leeds City Centre to ‘make a stand’ against wasteful supply chains

Making A Stand is a co-created artwork between Studio Bark and acclaimed visual artist Michael Pinsky (known for challenging the status quo on climate change and urban design).

As a criticism against the wastefulness of temporary artworks, Making A Stand offers a haven for natural reflection, presenting itself as a vertical stack of timber in the busy City Square in Leeds. The artwork has been commissioned by Leeds 2023 as part of their Year of Culture and is testament to the city’s beginnings from the Forest of Leodis. For six months, City Square will be a place where the natural world and the urban realm collide, linked through the supply chain that connects one to the other.

Timber installation in Leeds City Centre

Making It Stand

The 7 meter tall timber fins, with their bark and pith still (mostly) intact stands as a challenge to its context. Lightly touching the ground and connected through a canopy web of steel wires and struts, the sculpture provides a synaptic bridge between standing trees and one of the most ubiquitous household materials; wood.

Timber art installation to comment on wasteful supply chains
Timber art installation by Studio Bark and Michael Pinsky
Making A Stand - timber art installation
Timber art installation enveloped by trees in Leeds City Centre
Leeds 2023 art installation by Studio Bark and Michael Pinsky
Immersive artwork by Studio Bark and Michael Pinsky
Timber artwork by Michael Pinsky and Studio Bark
Immersive art in Leeds city centre
Timber artwork, Making A Stand, in Leeds

Timber Supply Chain

A typical supply chain for timber in construction projects includes many phases, from growing, felling, planking and processing, through to fabrication, construction and end of life - with a lot of transport in between. The further down the supply chain, the more bespoke a material becomes as greater specification limits its reusability.

Making A Stand uses timber towards the start of the supply chain, after the planking phase. Following circular economy principles, light touch processing and a hard-working structural canopy have been designed to limit impact on the timber fins to support their return to the supply chain.

The whole process has been tracked, so each timber ‘fin’ can be followed all the way back to its exact stump. 60 year old Douglas Fir was chosen for its durability, size and strength as a species that supports biodiversity more than other softwood trees planted for their timber.

Forest where the Douglas Fir timber is sourced
Trees being processed at the timber mill
Measuring the timber
Timber is labelled and measured
Trees are prepared for processing
The timber is sliced into fins
Each timber fin measures 7m tall

Bringing the Timber Supply Chain Online

An online resource has been created to share further resources engaging with the timber supply chain. Animations examine how the amount of carbon absorbed fluctuates through the lifespan of the tree, the six month installation, and beyond. This research teaches the important message that if we look after our timber, we look after our woodlands, and we look after ourselves. This resource is live now.

Explore the Making A Stand online resource.

We hope that Making a Stand illuminates complexities of land and resource use and the supply chains that connect them. Everything we use is connected, so the building industry, the public and our politicians must face this challenging reality if we are to turn the tide on the climate crisis.

Trees labelled and ready for processing into timber fins

Origins of the Title

The artwork’s title refers to the forestry term for a group of trees managed together. ‘Making A Stand’ also refers to the idiom ‘to assert an opinion’, acknowledging the many nuances to both the production and conservation of forests. A third interpretation of the title emerged through the complex structural design process of actually making it stand.

Studio Bark Team with artist Michael Pinsky at Making A Stand in Leeds
Making A Stand is a collaborative project between Studio Bark and artist Michael Pinsky, as part of Leeds 2023
Making A Stand is a collaborative project between Studio Bark and artist Michael Pinsky, as part of Leeds 2023


Michael Pinsky - Artist

Leeds 2023

Stage One

Structure Workshop

Whitney Sawmill

Our Work