Open Mon-Fri 09.30-20.30, Sat 09.30-16.30
These two exhibitions mark the start of a two-year project to explore the influence of D'Arcy Thompson, the University of Dundee's first Professor of Biology, on the visual arts - part of a special initiative by the University's Museum Services supported by the Art Fund's RENEW scheme.
In the Tower Foyer Gallery, the exhibition Coded Chimera features the results of an AHRC-funded research project by sculptor Bruce Gernand. His project was developed in association with the Natural History Museum and the Cambridge Computer Lab and explores the ideas of morphogenesis (the study of biological dynamics) pioneered by D'Arcy Thompson.
Using digital scans of zoological specimens and customised computer software tools, different animal forms are morphed to create hybrid shapes. The sculptures, models and diagrams shown in the exhibition (which was first staged at the University of Cambridge last year) make connections between the process of sculpture and the principles of biological dynamics.
In the Lamb Gallery, the exhibition Heresies features three artists, B E Cole, Stuart Mackenzie and Roger Wilson, presenting responses both to D'Arcy Thompson's collection in Dundee and the theories and observations arising from his research. The title refers to Thompson's own description of his research in the eyes of the scientific establishment. It also works as a reminder of the impact of his work on artists practising in the first half of the 20th century and their effort to establish a visual language connected to the natural world but distanced from academic naturalism.
Whilst the three artists employ different media and approaches they share a common interest in the generation of form through process. All three employ close observation and extensive experimentation leading to works, which add to our visual language and our relationship with science and the natural world.
Curator's Tour - on Thursday 14 June at 1pm, museum curator Matthew Jarron is giving an informal guided tour of the exhibitions. Everyone is welcome to attend - no need to book. Meet in the Lamb Gallery on 1st floor of the Tower.
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