Systema Naturae: A history of in-animate nature

Organized By The Galley Arts

Location: The Galley Arts

Atlas Works, Denton Holme,Carlisle (54.889270, -2.946980)


Systema Naturae: A history of in-animate nature Robert Williams & Jack Aylward-Williams 2012-2014 The latest in a series of collecting projects, father–and-son team Robert Williams and Jack Aylward-Williams have turned their attention to the exploration of the ecologies of the everyday. They and a small band of collaborators have amassed a collection of quotidian objects found during their regular perambulations over a two-year period. The collecting phase of the project has been based on a series of guiding principles. These objects, images and materials, cultural in origin, must in some way be representations of flora and fauna. The collected material is identified by location, date, collector and other meta-data noted. Mindful of historical, contemporary and conventional sources (for example: Linnaeus, Buffon, Darwin; popular Victorian Natural History writers such as Goldsmith and Wood; publishers Cassell, Warne and Ladybird; and Wikipedia), the collections are then classified and organised. The arrangement of the collections and the construction of databases makes it possible to view the material comparatively, to regard the material ecologically, anthropologically, culturally and archaeologically. It is possible to identify emergent patterns and to make inferences drawn from the inter-relationships indicated by the circumstances of their discovery. Robert and Jack have worked together on a number of collecting projects including Thesaurus Scienta Lancastriae (2004-2005), a celebration of the bi-centenary of Lancaster born scientist Sir Richard Owen, and Virga et Lapilla which explored archaeological themes in Stones, Circles, Landscape & Art at Penrith Museum (2006). Other long term projects explored the Underworld in Arca Tartareum (2008), and Historico-naturalis et Archaeologica ex Dale Street which translated Gilbert White’s Natural History of Selbourne to a residential street in Lancaster, and Bombylus Darwinii (2009), an evolutionary homage for Mr. Charles Darwin. Their last major collaboration was Disjecta Fragmen Communitis (2011), A collecting and archival artwork that resulted in the installation of comparative collections of glass and vitreous material, installed within a series of vitrines for exhibition at a national museum of glass manufacturing. Private view 23rd May 7pm till 9pm Open Monday to Friday 12 - 4pm or by appointment Exhibition open from May 24th till June 21st