Anya Gallaccio Will Create The AIDS Memorial in London


Today AIDS Memory UK (AMUK) proudly announce that artist Anya Gallaccio has won the commission to create The AIDS Memorial in London.

The memorial will be located on South Crescent, Store Street in Fitzrovia, and will take the form of a felled tree, offering a space for remembrance and solidarity, commemorating those affected by HIV/AIDS in the past, present, and future. 

Gallaccio’s proposal features a tree trunk with its core rings extracted and displayed upright nearby. This hollow space invites visitors to interact and engage with the memorial, serving as a poignant reminder of those lost to HIV/AIDS.

A Place for Remembrance 

The memorial aims to raise awareness of the continuing impact of HIV/AIDS, which has disproportionately affected four communities: gay / bisexual men, Black African communities, the bleeding disorders community, and injecting drug users. 

As well as being a place of remembrance for the public, the site will be made available as an arts space, for performance and community engagement activities. 

With a commitment of £130,000 in funding from the Mayor of London’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, the memorial will stand as a testament to resilience and remembrance.

Find out more about AMUK, our Fundraising and Donate.

Anya Gallacio's design, aerial view, rendered by Rinehart Herbst
Gallacio in her studio with a model of the memorial

About Anya Gallaccio

Anya Gallaccio is a British artist based in London and San Diego, USA, known for creating site-specific installations using organic materials that transform over time. This commission marks her first permanent public installation in London. Gallaccio’s work will also be featured in a major survey exhibition, “preserve,” at Turner Contemporary in Margate this autumn.

Reflecting on her winning proposal, Gallaccio said: “The proposal as it stands is holding space with the intention of providing a meeting place, a heart for community-generated events and oral histories. The tree is a symbol of life. 

The planes that line the street side of the crescent are everywhere in the city, for good reason; they withstand pollution. They are survivors, living, despite their environment, a clunky but perhaps fitting metaphor for those living with HIV and AIDS. Hidden in plain sight.”

Selection Process and Judging Panel

Gallaccio was selected from a shortlist of five artists, including Ryan Gander, Harold Offeh, Shahpour Pouyan, and Diana Puntar. The curatorial selection process was managed by art consultants Modus Operandi and overseen by a panel of esteemed judges chaired by AMUK trustee and CEO of Arts & Heritage, Stephanie Allen. Our panel included:

      • Professor Jane Anderson, British physician

      • Neil Bartlett, writer and director

      • Jo Baxendale, Senior Policy Officer, Visual Art and Public Realm, Greater London Authority

      • Rana Begum, artist

      • Aaron Cezar, Director of Delfina Foundation

      • Jack Guinness, author and Mayor’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm member

      • Ash Kotak, AMUK Founder and Artistic Director

      • Olivia Laing, writer

      • Michael Morris, curator

      • Satish Padiyar, art historian

    The Affected Communities Advisory Board (ACAB), comprising representatives from affected communities, was consulted during the selection process. Find out more.

    On behalf of the AMUK Selection Panel, curator Michael Morris commented: “Into the midst of a tree-lined crescent, Anya Gallaccio introduces a monumental trunk, its inner rings removed and standing upright close by. Such an expression of loss and resilience, and its constant presence through time, could not be clearer. 

    The horizontal trunk and the vertical rings that watch over it powerfully and poignantly merge to memorialise the AIDS crisis, creating a living place of remembrance both for the communities most directly affected by HIV and for all Londoners.”

    Community Impact and Support

    Ash Kotak, Founder of AIDS Memory UK, said: “The announcement is a major milestone for the already seven-and-a-half-year-long campaign to deliver The AIDS Memorial in London. The foundations have now been laid: a historically relevant site; a brilliant internationally recognized artist who was directly affected by HIV & AIDS in London; and her beautiful and meaningful new public artwork. 

    Now is the time for Londoners, and friends of this great city, to come together to fundraise and build this important new public artwork. It will survive longer than all of us and remain a tribute to the epoch we are all living through, a time of HIV & AIDS, as we fight on to its end.”

    The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, added: “I’m delighted that Anya Gallaccio has been commissioned to create The AIDS Memorial in London, and I’m proud that funding from City Hall is helping to bring this project to fruition. 

    Anya’s proposal is a powerful symbol of solidarity and a fitting way to honour those who have lost their lives to the virus and highlight the impact it has had on our communities, as we work to end transmissions in the capital and build a fairer London for everyone.

    What happens now?

    Anya Gallaccio will continue to research and develop her designs for the memorial, aiming for unveiling at the end of 2027. 

    In the meantime, AIDS Memory UK will deliver a programme of projects to continue raising awareness and supporting affected communities.

    For more information, please contact Alethea Norman-Rhodes ([email protected]) or Lily O’Brien-Mead ([email protected]).



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    London AIDS Memorial