Author(s): Jeannette Hoorn
"Reframing Darwin: Evolution and the Arts in Australia" is a book of essays about the impact of Darwinian thought on Australian art, science and culture, beginning with the voyage of HMS Beagle and finishing with bio-ethics and the Post-Darwinian body. These essays accompany the exhibition Darwin's Cornucopia: Charles Darwin in Australia, showing at The Ian Potter Museum of Art the University of Melbourne from August 14 to November 1, 2009. An impressive range of international scholars have contributed material to the volume. Roger Macdonald writes about his multi-award winning book "Mr Darwin's Shooter"; John Mulvaney considers Walter Baldwin Spencer's introduction of Darwinian science at the University of Melbourne; Danielle Clode explores debates about nineteenth century evolutionary biology and Richard Aitkens looks at garden history and evolutionary botany. Jeanette Hoorn uncovers Darwin's ideas in Tom Roberts' portraits; Jonathan Smith discusses Darwin's subversion of Victorian gender norms; Amelia Scurry examines Tasmanian artist Louisa Meredith's involvement within the scientific community in Hobart; Ted Gott examines the arrival in Melbourne of the bronze statuette Gorilla carrying off a woman 1887 by French artist Emmanuel Fremiet and Barbara Creed explores issues around bio ethics and cloning and the emergence of a 'post-Darwinian' body in contemporary Australian art. This volume shows how pervasive the ideas of Charles Darwin are in the Australian arts and sciences. It reflects the great influence his thinking has had in the international community and in cultures the world over in the bicentenary year of his birth.
Jeanette Hoorn is Professor of Visual Cultures in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne.