“Endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved” said Charles Darwin in the final sentence of his 1858 world-changing book ‘On the origin of species.’
Itâ€™s a such a simple, almost obvious idea, but based entirely on years of rational scientific observation and logic. And so, for those of you dear Readers who prefer the facts of the Galapagos to the fiction of the Garden of Eden, I’ve been working on this new picture showing my â€˜natural selectionâ€™ from some of the higher orders of animals both alive today and long extinct:
It is loosely based on the concept of a phylogenetic or evolutionary tree. But as the composition developed the tree shape and the lines of all the branches became less and less important; the connections the viewer makes for themselves between the creatures and is more important. Besides in reality there are so many taxonomic units it’s impossible to know where to start!
It forms part of my current Darwinian theme celebrating 150th anniversary of the publication of ‘On the origin of species’. Next year is also the 200th anniversary of the Great Man’s birth and it all ties in perfectly with my interest in biogeography and a trip I’m plotting early next year to some of the places Darwin went to in the Pacific during his voyage on the Beagle.
The picture is a drypoint and watercolour (limited edition of eight original, handmade pictures, size: 400mm x 500mm) and you can buy yours at the credit crunch-busting price of Â£100 unframed.