Darwin & Art in Edinburgh


Ellen Gallagher, Watery Ecstatic (2005). Courtesy The Species of Origin

The intersection of art and science isn’t commonly discussed in the art world. But one British art school, the Edinburgh College of Art, has been developing an intriguing project (The Species of Origin) that looks at new artistic and cultural understandings of the work of scientist Charles Darwin and his seminal book Origin of Species.

Next year marks Darwin’s bicentennial and for over a year the Scottish art school has been re-examining ideas about the development of life (i.e. evolution) that have revolutionized the world.

According to the website:

This project asserts the potential for contemporary art practice to re-imagine Darwin’s work within a current context, to draw out, in particular, some of the most significant ideas embedded in his thought and of others.

Some of the participating artists in this investigation that straddles the cultural and scientific worlds are Catherine Chalmers, Marcus Coates, Mark Dion (Season 4), Ellen Gallagher (Season 3), Andrea Roe and Alexis Rockman.