A Duck, For Mr Darwin
Evolutionary Thinking and the Struggle to Exist
Sat 10 Oct - Sat 12 Dec 2009
Contributors: Charles Avery, Marcus Coates, Dorothy Cross, Mark Dion, Andrew Dodds, Mark Fairnington, Ben Jeans Houghton, Tania Kovats, Conrad Shawcross
A Duck for Mr. Darwin is a group exhibition of nine contemporary artists exploring evolutionary thinking and the theory of natural selection.
Transforming the Mead Gallery, the exhibition will feature sculpture, drawing, painting, film and installation. Focusing on the legacy of Charles Darwin’s ideas, A Duck for Mr Darwin is informed by the spirit of experimentation which was so distinctive to the time in which he lived.
The mindset of the Victorian naturalist and his contemporaries, their sense of scientific experimentation and genuine wonder at their respective discoveries are shared by several of the artists in the exhibition. Ideas of isolated, closed worlds of meaning and ordered systems recur throughout, as does the location of the Galapagos Islands. Several of the artists’ visited the Islands and have made work as a result. These remarkable islands were pivotal to the story of the development of Darwin’s theory and have continued to exert a fascination to many.
The art mixes fact and fiction, experimentation and observation, methods of display and personal research. Collectively these artists reveal facets of Darwin’s extraordinary ideas. The exhibition presents work by nine international contemporary artists including a number of new commissions – a large working wormery by Tania Kovats, a museum tableau on the early Victorian explorers by Mark Dion and a new sound work by Andrew Dodds.
The title references the story of an exchange between the young naturalists Alfred Russel Wallace who sent a particular specimen, a domestic duck from the island of Lombok to Darwin in 1857. Within a year a second parcel arrived from the Malay jungle containing Wallace’s short twenty page essay on species variation. This package proved to be the catalyst precipitating the publishing of Darwin’s monumental theory – the book we now know as the Origin of Species.
A Duck for Mr. Darwin has been curated by Alessandro Vincentelli and devised to coincide with the Darwin 200 programme of celebrations and events.
The Guardian review of this show at the Baltic
Tue 24 Nov 6.30pm FREE
Join Alessandro Vincentelli, curator of A Duck for Mr. Darwin, for a tour of the show which marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
Gallery Assistant Tours
Mead Gallery Assistants offer whistle stop tours of the exhibition every Monday and Wednesday at 1pm and 4pm.
Introducing the work of other departments of the University of Warwick in connection with the Mead’s exhibition programme
Music for Worms
University of Warwick Music Centre
Wed 11 Nov, 6.30pm – 7.30pm
For more than 40 years, Darwin conducted experiments to identify the characteristics of earthworms. His experiments included playing music to worms, to assess their ability to hear. The Music Centre will play a short concert of music to see if the response of the earthworms in the Mead is any different to that of their nineteenth century forebears.
Explaining the World: How Science Works
John Ellis, Emeritus Professor, Biological Sciences
The New Space
Thu 26 Nov, 6.30pm – 7.30pm
FREE but places are limited so please reserve a seat through Box Office
This talk, centred on theories of evolution, derives from a set of lectures by Professor Ellis aimed at first year undergraduates in Biology. They aim to help students discover how to think, by discussing the considerations that should be borne in mind when formulating views about the nature of the world. These considerations apply not just to scientists but to artists and anyone who thinks about the world we inhabit. This talk will be of particular interest to young people who would like a taster of how they will be encouraged to think about ideas at University.
Dates & Times
|Thu 8 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Sat 10 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Mon 12 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Tue 13 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Wed 14 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Thu 15 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Fri 16 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Sat 17 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Mon 19 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Tue 20 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Wed 21 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Thu 22 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Fri 23 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Sat 24 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Mon 26 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Tue 27 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Wed 28 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Thu 29 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Fri 30 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Sat 31 Oct||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Mon 2 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Tue 3 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Wed 4 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Thu 5 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Fri 6 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Sat 7 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Mon 9 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Tue 10 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Wed 11 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Thu 12 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Fri 13 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Sat 14 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Sat 14 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm|
|Mon 16 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Tue 17 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Wed 18 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Thu 19 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Fri 20 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Sat 21 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Mon 23 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Tue 24 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Wed 25 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Thu 26 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Fri 27 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Sat 28 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Mon 30 Nov||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Tue 1 Dec||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Wed 2 Dec||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Thu 3 Dec||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Fri 4 Dec||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Sat 5 Dec||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Mon 7 Dec||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Tue 8 Dec||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
|Wed 9 Dec||Mead Gallery||12:00pm||FREE|
One of the biggest exhibition spaces in the Midlands, the Mead is a cool, white, light space presenting touring shows and newly curated exhibitions during term times. It is located above the Cinema and is open from noon to 9pm Monday to Saturday. Admission is free.