Caught by the River

Natural Selection at the Former Newington Library

11th September 2017

Situated in the former Cuming Museum – a museum founded by a father and son, which was originally home to a collection of natural history and archaeological curiosities – Natural Selection, by father and son Andy Holden and Peter Holden, will take you on an ornithological journey, from the building of nests to the collecting of eggs.

Natural Selection showcases several multi-screen films, a selection of archival material, and Andy Holden’s own collection of found nests. The exhibition spans two floors and captures the multi-sensory oeuvre of birds. ‘A Natural History of Nest Building’, situated on the ground floor, exposes the unscrupulous cuckoo; the artistry of the bowerbird; and the nest as an object in its own right. While, in the basement, ‘A Social History of Egg Collecting’ sheds light on this practice in a changing legal landscape, and the resultant criminal operations after 1954, through a video work ‘The Opposite of Time’ and an installation titled ‘How the Artist Was Led to the Study of Nature’.

The exhibition is free to attend, and runs from now until 05 November. More info here.

And on a related note, you can — and should — read Helen Macdonald’s beautiful essay on the forbidden wonder of birds’ nests and eggs here.