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Darwin and the arts

The Species of Origin project, based at Edinburgh College of Art (eca) and in collaboration with Glasgow University and the Natural History Museum (NHM), held its second workshop in Glasgow on 14 and 15 December 2007.

From theory to theme

Following on from the first workshop in Edinburgh which explored the life and work of Charles Darwin and its relevance for contemporary art practice, the second workshop took a philosophical route into some of the themes of Darwin’s writing.

Azure by Susan Derges 2006.

Azure by Susan Derges 2006.

Joining the core team of Andrew Patrizio (eca), Emilios Christodoulidis (Glasgow), Bergit Arends (NHM) and Sara Barnes (Species of Origin) were international scholars, artists and representatives of arts organisations. Barbara Maria Stafford (Chicago) and Gillian Beer (Cambridge) both gave exciting and inspiring public lectures ‘bookending’ the workshop, with further presentations from artist Joel Fisher, philosophers Bert van Roermund and Hans Lindahl (both University of Tilburg); Carrol Clarkson (University of Cape Town) and Monica-Judith Sanchez Flores (CIDE, Mexico).

January workshop

The final workshop, in London, will be hosted by the Natural History Museum on 24 and 25 January. It will include presentations by artists and writers involved in artist residencies on the Galapagos Islands and the Expressions exhibition to be held at the Museum in 2009 as part of the celebrations for the anniversaries of Darwin’s birth and the publication of On the Origin of Species. Meanwhile, the Species of Origin project awaits the outcome of an AHRC funding application to continue the project for a further four years.

To find out more please visit the Species of Origin website or contact Dr Sara Barnes, Research Associate.


‘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