Thinking Path 2004
Note: Thinking Path is exhibited at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery http://www.shrewsburymuseum.org.uk/
Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery & Tour
The exhibition Thinking Path was designed to explore and re-contextualize the life and ideas of Charles Darwin through a body of work that combines imagery with historical material and artefacts related directly to the man and his theories. The resulting combination of image, artefact and location provides fresh insight in to the complexities and concerns of Darwin's life and work.
The exhibition comprised of three main constituents: Wall based panels, museum artefacts and edited video footage.
The wall based panels were generated by the systematic accumulation of visual research reinterpreted through a system of 1600 digitised images corresponding to the paces of the Sand-walk or Thinking Path at Darwin's home, Down House 1. Each image is held behind bespoke glass lenses within a laser cut frame.
The accumulation of images was an active research process that mimicked Darwin's own acknowledged research methodology of 'compilation'. The work became a structured combination of alternating images taken from first hand research including video documentation of the thinking path filmed on the four significant anniversaries of Darwin's birth and death, the return to the UK of HMS Beagle and the publication of the Origin of Species. In addition the work incorporated video documentation of sites of direct significance to Darwin such as the room he was born in, local churches he attended as a child, his study and home environment at Down House. This direct research was supplemented by contemporary and historical imagery reflecting upon the four significant themes of birth, journeying, theory and death linked to the four anniversaries above.
The numerical base of 1600 images were in turn grouped into four sets of 400 images. Each set was themed to one of the four anniversaries and comprised of 20 lens frames each holding twenty images. Each set of images was paired with one of four core museum objects that toured to each venue where objects acted as metaphors for the ideas explored in each set of twenty panels 2.