Ellen K Levy - Seeing Through

Saturday 6 April 2024 - Saturday 29 June 2024

A site-specific exhibition by multimedia artist Ellen K Levy, reinterpreting the collections of the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum

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Saturday 6 April 2024, 11:00 - Saturday 29 June 2024, 16:00
Tower Foyer Gallery

Tower Building

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The ideas and collections of D’Arcy Thompson, the University’s first Professor of Biology, have profoundly influenced many artists and writers who re-interpret natural history, projecting it through the lens of evolution, fantasy, consumption, fear or desire. This unique exhibition features a site-specific installation in the Tower Foyer Gallery with additional elements in the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum. “Seeing Through” proposes tours of Thompson’s collection visualised as if through the lenses of futurist author J G Ballard and pop-artist Richard Hamilton. We visit the collection through dizzying perspectival renderings of merged organic/machine hybrids, eco-catastrophes and space travel, as alluded to by Hamilton and Ballard. Levy’s speculative exhibition explores our synergistic relationship with technology, including our aspirations and its threats. Our notions of evolution are, themselves, evolving.

Dr Ellen K Levy is a multimedia artist and writer based in the US. Her works explore complex systems and some of the unintended consequences of technology. Levy highlights these issues through exhibitions, educational and curatorial programmes and publications. She was President of the College Art Association before earning her doctorate in 2012 from the University of Plymouth (UK) on the art and neuroscience of attention. She received an AICA award and an arts commission from NASA following a solo exhibition at the National Academy of Sciences (1985) and was represented by Michael Steinberg Fine Arts and Associated American artists in New York until they closed. She has exhibited widely in the US and abroad. With Charissa Terranova, she is co-editor of D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson's Generative Influences in Art, Design: From Forces to Forms (2021, Bloomsbury Press). Levy and Barbara Larson co-edit the “Science and the Arts since 1750” book series for Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

The Tower Foyer Gallery is open Mon-Fri 9.30am-7pm Sat 11am-4pm. Additional elements in the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum may be seen on our monthly Saturday openings - 13 April, 11 May and 8 June - and on Friday afternoons from 7 June.

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Matthew Jarron