"Tree" Artwork Celebrates Darwin's 200th Birthday
It's the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, an event that calls for a big celebration if you are a natural history museum--and London's has risen to the occasion. They have commissioned a new Darwin-inspired artwork for one of the museum’s ceilings. Ten artists were asked to create a piece of art inspired by Charles Darwin’s ideas and what they mean to our understanding of nature and our place in society today. Only one would be chosen and the finished work will be unveiled in the gallery on the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth on 12 February 2009, 150 years since the publication of On the Origin of Species.
The winner was "TREE" by Tania Kovats. Kovats was last seen here when she created a moving meadow on a barge. The piece will be a stunning permanent addition to an already imposing Victorian structure. A cross-section of an entire 200 year old oak tree will be cut lengthways, including the roots, trunk and branches, and inserted into the ceiling of the mezzanine level gallery. The work will be 17 metres long. Her proposal was inspired by Darwin’s first diagram of an evolutionary tree in his notebooks, above which he wrote, ‘I think.' She said, "TREE came out of my time in South America, where Darwin has been an inspiring travelling companion… I think the tree is a really useful model of thought, and the cross-section is a way of understanding anything in the natural world." :: Natural History Museum
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