29 October, 2pm
Former Newington Library

Wysing's Head of Partnerships, Chelsea Pettitt, will be giving a tour of Andy Holden's and Peter Holden's Artangel installation Natural Selection. 

Exhibition tour of 'Natural Selection'

Working with his father Peter Holden, a renowned ornithologist, Andy Holden's Artangel installation is 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 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’.

Taking some of the exhibition themes as a starting point, including anthropology, childhood memories and collecting, Wysing's Head of Partnerships, Chelsea Pettitt, will provide an introduction to the installation and discuss it in the context of Andy Holden's overall practice. 

Free, but booking required here

Andy Holden (b.1982) artist and musician was born and now lives and works in Bedford, UK. He regularly performs and releases records with his band The Grubby Mitts who have contributed Wysing Arts Centre's music festival on a number of occasions. 

Holden has been working with Wysing since 2008. In 2010 he curated our first music festival 'Be Glad For The Song Has No End' as part of a period as an artist in residence. He has since participated in many exhibitions and events at Wysing and was the first lead artist for the collaborative 'Syllabus' programme, now in its third year.

His most recent solo exhibitions include ‘Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape (II)’, Glasgow International (2016); ‘Towards a Unified Theory of MI!MS’, Zabludowicz Collection, London (2013), Spike Island (2014); ‘Chewy Cosmos Thingly Time’, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2011); and ‘Art Now: Andy Holden’, Tate Britain (2010). 

Peter Holden has been passionate about birds and wildlife for as long as he can remember. He was a senior manager for the RSPB for over 40 years, and while running the RSPB’s junior membership he devised the ever popular Big Garden Birdwatch which has grown into the largest wildlife survey in the world!

Peter’s activities are dedicated to taking the magic of wildlife to new audiences. For many years he advised BBCs Blue Peter and often appeared in their garden! In 1994-5 he joined Bill Oddie in a BBC 1 series called Bird in the Nest and more recently has contributed to Springwatch.

He has written many books, including the RSPB Handbook to British Birds, RSPB Handbook of Garden Wildlife and Birds: a Hidden World.

He was awarded an MBE in 2009 for services to Nature Conservation and elected a Fellow of the RSA.