Spring is almost here, judging by the sudden sallying of daffodils in southern gardens and last week’s rattle of hooves from far-off Cheltenham, but Spring means we have said a sad farewell to Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year for this season.
Feel the buzz of the Sexual Nature exhibition (above) and the Central Hall (below right) at our After Hours on Friday 25 March. Select images to enlarge them.
There’s also an opportunity to view our new Images of Nature gallery and the stunning Cora Sun-drop diamond, on display for a limited time in the Vault. And you can take part in an intriguing discussion in the restaurant – ‘The Science of the Sexual Spectrum’ At the discussion you can enjoy a drink and join speakers Peter Tatchell, Jeffrey Weeks and Qazi Rahman to try to unravel some of the science behind our sexuality and the social implications and history of its study. I've just heard this event is now sold out, so put the next After Hours Discussing Nature event in your diary, The Laws of Attraction on 29 April.
At February's After Hours, I tripped around (OK, stalked) some groups of late night visitors to our Sexual Nature exhibition, to see how they were finding it. I was thrilled to see just how much they were enjoying the exhibits, particularly one fascinated group stood around the mounted foxes (left), trying to work out (with air diagrams) how the two foxes had got themselves physically into their position. ‘I think he mounts her doggy style and then turns around to secure his place as primary mate’ was the confident if baffling view of one young gentleman.
I spotted another couple standing arm-in-arm contemplatively and romantically in front of the female spotted hyaena, who is certainly geared up to be primary mate in her own love life as well as in her pack. Other people were thinking very deeply about animals’ sexual behaviour in a way they hadn’t before. ‘It’s just the more you know, the more your childhood thoughts of animals change,’ was the view from a group of young women who were having an animated discussion in front of one display, possibly now conscious that the prototypes for Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and indeed Eeyore, amongst others, all had potential love lives of which their readers were previously unaware.
So why not come along for yourself this Friday evening and get yourself up to speed on such matters as well!
Sexual Nature exhibition images: Mating foxes taxidermy display (above left) and the human sexuality display at the end of the gallery (right). Select images to enlarge them