a-Kin Exhibtion


Competition or Cooperation

Participate Contemporary Artspace CIC & Associates
exhibition as part of Darwin Festival, Shrewsbury 2022

The Unitarian Church
37- 38 High Street

7th - 13th February 2022
11a.m - 3.30 pm

Darwin's theories of evolution have often been over-simplified as 'the survival of the fittest' in a ruthless competition among and within species. In this small exhibition we celebrate the interdependence of life forms that is equally important to the survival and diversity of life on our planet. Small, overlooked plants, such as mosses, 'unseen' aspects of more familiar plants, such as trees, and the beneficial effects of natural phenomena - all have something teach us about the value of cooperation.

Jan Hunt

I am fascinated by the symbiotic relationship between mycorrhizal fungi and trees, by which nutrients are shared. Entering the tree roots, the fungi spores develop an extensive system of capillaries; very fine ‘secondary roots’ – which enable the tree to draw water from a much greater area of soil.
Roots and Shadows
Soft iron wire
40 x 30 cms

Trees growing closely together share nutrients through their roots. They provide food, habitats and shade for many other species, and counter environmental pollution. At times, as here, their configuration can suggest parallels with human society and relationships.
Sketchbook Page
Pen and ink, gouache, photograph
30 x 21 cms

Jill Impey

Light and Colour (Goethe's Theory)-the Morning After the Deluge Referencing two paintings by Turner, this film explores swirling interplay between creative, scientific, spiritual and human-nature interconnectedness. Filmed along the River Severn in Shrewsbury, close to Charles Darwin’s birthplace.
Flood : Shade and Darkness- the Evening of the Deluge.
Film still Postcard 10.5 x 14.8
Film, digital video 6 mins 15 secs

To watch the file click on the image above
Lichen are ecologically important, they enable algae to live all over the world and provide a means to convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through photosynthesis into oxygen. Time to notice and learn from the ancient and adaptable lichen.
Shield Lichen
Monotype print with collage
Mosses are ecologically important, absorbing water, creating humidity, offering a home for small creatures, like woodlice. Time to notice and learn from the ancient and adaptable bryophyte.
Sphagnam Palustre
Monotype print with collage
Fungi are ecologically important, aiding the survival of species from other kingdoms through the supply of nutrients, as decomposers and recyclers establishing mutualistic symbioses. Time to notice and learn from the ancient and adaptable fungi.
Tendernesting Polypore
Monotype print with collage

Niki Holmes

These works have evolved from my fascination with the intricate, interwoven interdependent forms of marine ecology that have always delighted and intrigued me, since my childhood poking about in rockpools to my years sub-aqua diving and working on SciArt projects with marine scientists.

From a series called 'Melding', these works are inspired by corals - colonies of marine animals from the phylum cnidaria, that have stone like or leathery internal or external skeletons and live symbiotically with algae to thrive and survive.

This intimate melding and interdependency, is threatened by rises in sea temperature, causing whole reef systems to 'bleach' and die - devastating entire ecosystems.

Coral has become a bellwether and metaphor for the perils that climate change presents to all interconnected life on Earth.
Melding i
Oil, lacquer, egg tempera and latex on carved board.
30 x 30 x 9cm
Melding ii
Oil, lacquer, egg tempera and latex on carved board.
30 x 30 x 9cm
Melding i -
Oil, lacquer, egg tempera and latex on carved board.
30 x 30x 9cm

Andrew Howe

This piece forms part of a yearlong project centred on Avon Meadows in Pershore, drawing attention to the beneficial impact of the flood plain meadows on flood management and biodiversity. The work was commissioned by Meadow Arts, with four artists each responding to a season, and will be shown in Pershore Library in March this year.
The River's Breath
Mixed media relief: handmade dyed paper incorporating reeds, Silver birch and other plant materials, collected from the site.
150 x 75cm
Winter 20-21

Helen Pilley

My current work explores the physical changes created by the action of insects and fungi on decaying plants, which I collect from undergrowth and leaf falls in autumn. I am particularly inspired by the colours, lines and perforations made in dock leaves by the larvae of the dock beetle - a tiny emerald-green iridescent insect.
Folium 2
Decomposing dock leaves on calico, with stitch added.
35 x 35 cm
Folium 3
Preserved dock leaf, with stitch elaboration on calico.
24 x 24 cm

Julie Louise Harrison

The work is inspired by a greyed tree stump with vibrant green moss growing on it. In gratitude to nature for inspiring me, I used only the materials I already had. This has led to something more surprising, interesting and innovative.
Copper mesh, linen, cotton, ribbon, string
January 2022