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Berkeley Square Temporary Retention Site

Rachael Champion’s Temporary Retention Site for Atmospheric Particles was a new commission for Berkeley Square’s recently pedestrianised area to the north-west of the Square. The sculpture was in situ from November 2020 to April 2021 and has now been relocated to Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, until 2023.


Temporary Retention Site for Atmospheric Particles was inspired by the remarkable London Plane trees of Berkeley Square. Layered bark shaped panels with printed imagery surrounded a series of brightly coloured metal drums, each containing an array of bioremediating plant life known for its ability to reduce air pollution in urban environments. The metal drum containers referred to the petrochemical industry, a conceptual link to London’s poor air quality. In this sculpture they were repurposed as vessels to support biodiversity and a cleaner environment. 


The sculpture addresses the issue of air pollution within our cities. Located adjacent to Berkeley Square where some of the oldest and most majestic examples of the London Plane tree can be found, this artwork looks to other species for inspiration and collaboration to improve the quality of the air we breathe.” Rachel Champion


The artwork was curated by Modus Operandi for Grosvenor Britain & Ireland and was intended to be the start of a three-year programme curated by Modus Operandi.


Watch the artist discuss the art commission here:


Temporary Retention Site for Atmospheric Particles - Rachael Champion





Rachael Champion

Title of work

Temporary Retention Site for Atmospheric Particles


Grosvenor Britain & Ireland


Berkeley Square then moved to Canary Wharf May 2021



Image credit

Image credit: John Hooper