Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

A Duck for Mr Darwin

Autumn 09 Exhibition

A Duck for Mr Darwin
Evolutionary Thinking & The Struggle To Exist

A Duck for Mr Darwin

(Piece on the left) Ben Jeans Houghton, On the Ark and I, 2009  
(Piece in the middle) Dorothy Cross, Forge, 2007  Courtesy of the artist and Kerlin Gallery, Dublin
(Piece on the right) Mark Dion, Tropical Collectors, 2009  Courtesy of the artist and Kerlin Gallery, Dublin
All Images Courtesy of the artist and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Photography by Colin Davison

Saturday 10 October - Saturday 12 December  

The exhibition during the autumn term, A Duck for Mr Darwin, is one of the Darwin 200 events celebrating the legacy of Charles Darwin’s life and ideas.  The exhibition was curated by Alessandro Vincentelli for the BALTIC, Gateshead where it received glowing reviews.  It contains the work of nine contemporary artists who explore evolutionary thinking and the Theory of Natural Selection.

The works mix fact and fiction, experimentation and observation.  Some have been developed through the artists’ own research of the Galapagos Islands,   for example, ‘Journey with the Blue Footed Booby’, a film by Marcus Coates.  The installation by Mark Dion is a re-presentation of the collected equipment, artefacts and trappings of tropical collectors.  Also included is ‘Worm’ by Tania Kovats, a glass-fronted working wormery.

The title of the exhibition refers to Darwin’s correspondence with a young naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace who wrote an essay on species variation while studying the domestic duck on the island of Lombok.  This proved to be an important catalyst in the development of Darwin’s monumental theory: The Origin of Species, published in 1859.

Opening Party - Tuesday 13 October - 7.00pm - 9.00pm

This opening also sees the launch of the Public Catalogue Foundation's survey of paintings in public collections in Coventry and Warwickshire.  The Foundation has set itself the extraordinary task to research and publish fully illustrated catalogues of all the paintings in British public collections, county by county.  Through these volumes, the Foundation aims to reveal the scale and quality of art held in trust for the nation.  Catalogues will be on sale.  

Exhibition Tours

Curator's Tour

Join Alessandro Vincentelli, curator of A Duck for Mr Darwin, for a tour of the show.
Exhibition tours are FREE but tickets should be booked through Box Office

Gallery Assistant Tours

Join our Gallery Assistant for an informal and informative whistle stop tour of the exhibition.  Available every Monday and Wednesday at 1pm and 4pm.  The tours are free, and everyone is welcome.  Booking required, phone the Mead Gallery Assistants on 02476 522589.

Warwick Connections

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
Wednesday 11 November, 6.30 - 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
Thursday 26 November 6.30 - 7.30pm
Red Room
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 studnts 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.

Family Events

Family Art Club
12 - 2pm
Every Saturday from 17 October - 5 December inclusive.
£3.50 per child (accompanying adult free)
Tickets available in advance or on the day from Box Office
List of Family Art Club, and Half-Term Events. 

To buy tickets for the workshops please contact box office on 024765 24524

For more information please see our events section by date or email or call the Gallery on 024765 22589