Grant Museum Exhibitions
12th February to 2nd April 2014 (Museum opening times)
A bust of the legendary biologist Charles Darwin was relocated from
UCL’s Darwin Building when the Grant Museum of Zoology moved to a new
home across the street. An exciting project was launched to create a new
Darwin for the Darwin Building. This unusual exhibition – taking place
in both locations - is the result.
UCL’s Institute of Making, together with the Department of Structural and Molecular Biology, the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, and the Grant Museum of Zoology challenged the Institute of Making’s members to recreate the Darwin bust in any way they like. This exhibition is the result
The reimagined Darwins are displayed in a triple-location exhibition opening on Darwin’s birthday, mingled among the skeletons, skulls and jars in the Grant Museum, as well as in the Darwin Building and Institute of Making windows.
Using only the data from a 3D scan of the bust, or a full sized foam Darwin milled from this data using a massive robot arm at The Bartlett School of the Built Environment, the makers were invited to get creative, get technical, get messy and get involved with reimagining, and replicating the man. They recreated Darwin in light, paper, ants, chocolate, DNA and crochet. Come to the exhibition and see Darwin as you’ve never seen him before.
More information, images of the Darwins and an incredible video of the giant robot arm milling him out of resin can be seen her on our blog: blogs.ucl.ac.uk/museums/2014/02/12/darwin-or-bust-opens-today
The Micrarium is a place for tiny things - somewhere to come and explore the microscopic specimens at the Grant Museum.
often said that 95% of known animal species are smaller than your
thumb, but have you noticed how most museums fill their displays with
big animals? We intend to right this wrong, and in January 2013 we built The Micrarium.
We have converted an
old office/storeroom into a beautiful back-lit cave displaying some of
the tiniest specimens in the collection, on wall-to-wall microscope
slides. Museums very rarely display objects like this, and we are
experimenting with an aesthetic way of doing so.
Artist Sarah Cameron
from the UCL Slade School of Fine Art was commissioned to develop a
huge mural for the Grant Museum's foyer. What she came up with was a
trompe l'oeil of a museum cabinet filled with our objects.
The painting has been made so that from the angle and height of the artist’s eye, the solid wall looks like a three dimensional cabinet, enticing the viewer – in a quest to align and distort the illusion – to a position of questioning.
The shifting perspective is indicative of the individual nature of peoples’ experiences of the collection. This runs parallel to the Museum’s perceived role: the pursuit of taxonomic investigation. The collection is modified according to its viewer.
The painting was made without the use of digital aids, grids or formulae. You can read more about the artistic concept and process here.
The Grant Museum is a centre for discussion and dialogue. Ten of our displays have iPads attached asking visitors to get involved in conversations about the role of science in society and how museum should be run. Visitors can respond on our iPads, on their own smart phones using QR codes or the Tales of Things App, via Twitter using #GrantQR and @uclmuseums or on their home computers.
Get involved in the conversations at http://www.qrator.org/
These questions will change every few months. The project - called QRator - has been developed in partnership with UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis and UCL Digital Humanities, funded by UCL Public Engagement Unit.