The domestication of dogs, that is when human and canine agreed to each other's companionship, has a long history. Recent scientific findings date the earliest known grave in which owner and companion were buried together to 15,000 years ago. Evidence also suggests the existence of a cross-species relationship beginning some 32,000 years ago when the wolf and dog separated genetically. Modern dog breeds are defined by their distinctive historical and contemporary human-canine relationships. For example, the Greyhound was believed to be of ancient stock, rendering it an ideal breed for eighteenth-century aristocracy who associated it with their own claims to heritage and status.
Cultured Canines highlights the mythology built into the identity and cultural meaning of different dog breeds in a way that is both absurd and critical. It encourages the viewer to consider the cultures that inform how the histories and lives of animals are perceived, and to appreciate the actual and imagined roles animals play in our lives.
Cultured Canines exhibited at the Ashmolean Museum from 8 February 2021 to 6 March 2022.
Working with Dr Eleni Aloupi-Siotis at Attic Black|Thetis Authentics, this collaboration looks to combine techniques and manufacturing processes of black- and red-figure ceramics from the Classical period with new designs.
Attic Black|Thetis Authentics uses ancient techniques in conjunction with scientific analysis to reproduce ancient ceramics.
From Eohippus to Equus
Spring 2004. Pen and ink on paper with monoprint. Individual panels are 152 cm x 76 cm. Sextych measures 152 cm x 456 cm
Milstein Exhibition Centre, Cambridge University Library
24 November 2017 to 29 March 2018
The new science of geology flourished throughout Britain during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The countrysides of England, Scotland and Wales exhibited an usually wide range of geological formations, making them ideal places for building a 'bigger picture' of Nature and natural systems. How layers of earth stacked together was a source of significant debate among early geologists, as dramatic distortions of the Earth's crust led to confusion about the original order of deposited sediment that, over time, gradually formed into strata. Surveys and maps were an essential part of the geologist's toolkit in working to uncover how strata ascended and to understand the forces that shaped the visible landscape.
Major breakthroughs, gradual developments, and arguments are played out across the maps, models, specimens, and books in this exhibition. Landscapes Below explores map-making, and how novel interpretations of the British landscape influences our understanding of the Earth.
An online version of the exhibition is available to visit.
Learn more about Landscapes Below during this interview with the exhibition's curator.
Geological landscape as antiquarian ruin: Banks, Pennant and the Isle of Staffa in Enlightenment travel and British identity: Thomas Pennant’s Tours of Scotland and Wales, edited by Mary-Ann Constantine and Nigel Leask (London: Anthem Press, 2017): 183–202. Online ISBN 9781783086542
'Bricks and antiquarianism: masonry and historical method in the historical sciences' in Special Issue, The Textual Network of Past and Nature Special Issue: Intellectual Exchanges in Eighteenth-Century Britain of Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, edited by Alessio Mattana and Giacomo Savani, 43:4 (2020): 489–505. DOI: 10.1111/1754-0208.12729
'Barometers: history and development in experimental philosophy’ in Springer Encyclopedia for Early Modern Philosophy and Science, edited by Dana Jalobeanu and Charles Wolfe (release date November 2020). ISBN 978-3-319-31067-1
'Unifying prospects: tinting geological maps in nineteenth-century Britain' in Cartographia, 51:3 (2016): 159–174. DOI: 10.3138/cart.51.3.3569
'A philosophical pursuit: natural models and the practical arts in establishing the structure of the earth' in History of Science, 53 (2015): 124–154. DOI: 10.1177/0073275315580956
‘The problem of describing colour; or, the surface of things’ in Viewpoint 102 (2013): 16–17. ISSN: 1751-8261