The D'Arcy Thompson Print Folio - Iain Sturrock

image by Iain Sturrock from D'Arcy Thompson Print FolioIain Sturrock

The Swan

Waterless lithograph


D’Arcy Thompson was a lecturer for over sixty years (?!) – my original idea was for a litho-graphic drawing of a mass of students (enthusiasm + indifference = undergrad), but this was superceded by another crowd scene, in this instance a photo I took in the Rijks-museum in Amsterdam. The swan painting (Jan Asselijn, The Threatened Swan) is a symbol of Dutch resistance against the Spanish, but in cropping the photo I’ve chloroformed the symbolism of the painting and foregrounded the crush of the public in front of it. If D’Arcy Thompson was alive today perhaps he would be a Dawkins-like figure: a zeitgeisty televisual presence eulogising the objectivity (and curiously endemic aesthetics) of natural structures to a mass audience for whom nature can be so denatured as to be little more than a fogged catalogue of cellophaned symbolism: pandas are good, germs are bad, killer whales are cool…


Back to index

Skip to top ↑