Moving Darwin, is a study of what emotions look like and feel like. A personal taxonomy inspired by Charles Darwin’s lesser-known thesis The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals in which he defined 6 emotions as fundamental to human evolution: Happiness, Sadness, Surprise, Fear, Anger and Disgust.

This exploration is both figurative and abstract. It combines installation, ceramic sculpture, and clay stop-frame animated film, WhyTheFace?. A bust and animated film features a raw clay portrait of William Pryor, Darwin’s Great Great Grandson expressing the six emotions defined as key by his forebear. These facial expressions are interspersed with abstracted clay interpretations of the same feelings. Click below to view an excerpt from the film with a sequence expressing fear, plus a short explanation about my making process.

WhyTheFace? will form part of my first solo show, entitled Moving Darwin, to be held at Down House, the family home of Charles Darwin, dates tbc due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The work has evolved to include a new series of emotional ceramic portraits of Emma Darwin, the current great great granddaughter of Charles and Emma Darwin. Plus a new soundscape to the film by sound designer Rob Szeliga.

WhyTheFace? exhibited in the Crypt Gallery during London Design Festival 2019


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