Artists

All of the artists featured in the exhibition are listed below. Find out more about their background and the inspiration behind their work.

Christine Borland
Christine Borland's proposal for Darwin's Canopy

Christine Borland is an Argyll-based artist whose work deals with subjects including science, medicine and biotechnology. Her work has been exhibited internationally and she was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997.

'A sculptural work in two phases. A sculpture of a large tree, made by scaling up a sketch of the "tree of life" by Charles Darwin. The public are invited to insert coins into the branches of the tree and its human limbs, in the tradition of wishing trees.'

See examples of Christine Borland’s work at the Sean Kelly Gallery.  

Mark Fairnington
Mark Fairnington's proposal for Darwin's Canopy

Mark Fairnington is a painter who takes his inspiration from the world of natural science. He has exhibited extensively in museums and private galleries in the US and Europe, and has worked closely with the Natural History Museum since 2001.

'This work looks at Darwin’s thoughts on the evolution of the eye in On the Origin of Species, which he described as "this organ of extreme perfection and complication".'

Mark Fairnington has exhibited at Freds Gallery and his work can be viewed on their website.

Tania Kovats
Tania Covats' proposal for Darwin's Canopy

Tania Kovats is a British artist who works primarily in sculpture and in the exploration of landscape. She is currently exploring Darwin’s voyage while in South America.

'The starting point for this proposal, known as Tree, was Darwin’s iconic branching tree drawing, the first representation of his theory of evolution.'

Tania Kovat’s recent work includes the Museum of the White Horse. Visit the Museum of the White Horse website.

 

Alison Turnbull
Alison Turnbull's proposal for Darwin's Canopy

Alison Turnbull is a Bogotá born artist who has studied both in Madrid and Bath. Her work has been described as being about absence and order as much as it is about presence and colour.

'This work, Biston betularia> aka The Peppered Moth, was prompted by the numerous and precise references to colour in Darwin's account of the voyage of the Beagle.'

Alison Turnbull is represented by Matt's Gallery.

UnitedVisualArtists
United Visual Artists' proposal for Darwin's Canopy

UnitedVisualArtists is a British design practice whose work spans permanent architectural installations, live performance and responsive art. They have won awards with installation in places as diverse as a Soho nightclub and the V&A garden.

'The aim is to create a design that will further the understanding of evolution, a visually striking object that will provoke both contemplation and discussion for generations to come.'

To view UnitedVisualArtists latest work visit UnitedVisualArtists website.

 

Mark Wallinger
Mark Wallinger's proposal for Darwin's Canopy

Mark Wallinger has been nominated twice for the Turner Prize, winning it in 2007 for his installation State Britain. His sculpture, Ecce Homo , was the first project chosen to sit on the fourth plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square.

'In his conclusion ‘From so simple a beginning endless forms most wonderful and most beautiful have been, and are being, evolved’, Darwin uses the consciously poetic motif of 'an entangled bank' in the knowledge that nature is at the heart of English poetry.

Mark Wallinger’s Turner Prize winning work, State Britain, can be viewed at the Tate Britain website.

 

Richard Woods
Richard Woods' proposal for Darwin's Canopy

Chester-born Richard Woods has exhibited internationally since 2000. Using traditional wood block printmaking techniques he produces works of art that are designed to be lived with, albeit in more theatrical and hyper real forms.

'This proposal will cover the ceiling in various hand-printed ceramic tiles, encouraging visitors to look at the different styles as species, how one style influences another, how common themes span continents and hundreds of years.'

Richard Woods is a Reader in Visual Arts at the University of Westminster and his research projects can be seen at the University of Westminster website.

 

Richard Wentworth
Richard Wentworth's proposal for Darwin's Canopy

Richard Wentworth has, since 1970, played a leading role in new British sculpture. A chronicler of daily life he looks closely at the present by exposing the past. Tate Liverpool presented a comprehensive exhibition of his work in 2005 and he is Director of the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford University.

'The ceiling is dedicated in equal measure to Darwin’s peripheral vision, his capacity for negotiating distractions and his ability to make his own luck.'

Highlights of Richard Wentworth’s exhibitions at the Tate can be viewed at the Tate Online website.

 

Rachel Whiteread
Rachel Whiteread's proposal for Darwin's Canopy

Rachel Whiteread is one of Britain’s leading sculpturers and won the Turner Prize in 1993 for House, a life-sized replica of the interior of a condemned house in London’s East End.

'Here, the ceiling would have a series of panels reflecting the idea that animals and humans have walked across the roof of the Natural History Museum.'

Rachel Whiteread’s gigantic work, Embankment, can be seen at the Tate Britain website.

 

Dorothy Cross
Dorothy Cross' proposal for Darwin's Canopy

Dorothy Cross uses witty and inventive means to explore history, place, gender, politics and science. She first received widespread acclaim with her work featuring cow udders, has been awarded a SCIART Award with her scientist brother and recently travelled to the Galapagos Islands with the Gulbenkian Artist in Resident programme.'

'To celebrate Darwin requires an iconic image. In On the Origin of Species he created the single most enormous shift in our perception of ourselves. He created a new architecture of thought.'

Dorothy Cross is represented by Frith Steet Gallery where you can view her work.