The Data Tree - A Collaborative Art Project

The finished Data Tree artwork


In the weeks leading up to the British Science Festival, the ScotCRN YPG collaborated with local artist Jacky Niven to create an art work influenced by the views of young people on the use and storage of personal data.

The group came up with the idea of ’The Data Tree’.

Montage of YPG creating the Data Tree

Concept & Execution

The branches and trunk of The Data Tree symbolise agencies which store and use personal data, ranging from the highly confidential, for example, a passport application or personal medical data, through to those agencies which deal with less sensitive personal information; social media profiles, video shop membership and such like.

Bare branches represent unprotected personal data, with leaves symbolising agencies which protect personal data e.g. the Data Protection Act and the NHS. The Data Tree is floating above a stream of raw unprocessed data.

The final work, which took 2 days to complete, will be framed and exhibited at the University of Aberdeen.

For more information about Jacky Niven please visit her website at