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Darwin's Canopy winner

Tania Kovats has been selected as the winning artist to create a new ceiling artwork at the Natural History Museum.


Tania Kovats’ TREE proposal has been chosen over nine other proposals, including Turner Prize winners, for a new permanent installation at the Museum.

Kovats will take a thin vertical slice through a 200 year old oak tree including the roots and branches. The cross-section will be inserted into the ceiling in a process similar to veneering.

The idea was inspired by Darwin’s first diagram of an evolutionary tree in his notebooks, above which he wrote, ‘I think’. Tania Kovats said: ‘TREE came out of my time in South America, where Darwin has been an inspiring travelling companion… I think the tree is a really useful model of thought, and the cross-section is a way of understanding anything in the natural world.’

TREE will be one of the Museum’s largest specimens at over 17 metres long. Work will begin immediately on sourcing and preparing the cross-section.

The new artwork will be unveiled next year on 12 February, exactly 200 years since Charles Darwin was born. All the proposals are currently on display in the Darwin’s Canopy exhibition at the Museum until 14 September.


‘There is grandeur in this view of life... from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.’ Charles Darwin