Collection Research

Final Major Project, Projects, Visual Research

Visit to the Grant Museum of Zoology

After deciding to look at nature as curiosity within the city as a reflection of my obsession, I felt it necessary to look at ways collections are presented to us. Especially specimens of nature. It was thus recommended I visit the Grant Museum of Zoology as a place that is a very good example of displaying such collections.



Observations at the Museum

The overwhelming display of animal specimens in solutions in a variety of different shaped vessels was so intriguing and was very much displayed as scientific with handwritten labels containing information about the specimen within. This made the space feel as though it aimed to educate and rightfully so as the space is used not only for research purposes but to educate UCL students from different courses ranging from science to art. I also really enjoyed the range of things displayed, from preserved animals to fossils









Highlight of the visit

The part of the Grant Museum that really stood out to me was the Micrarium which was a small boxed off space you could stand in, which would have you surrounded by hundreds of microscopic slide specimens. I really loved the delicacy of the slides and it was amazing to see how the specimens differed from each other as they were displayed side by side. Some quite clearly visible animals and some more abstract or barely visible at all.










Further development

The microscopic slides made me think of perhaps collecting nature from an environment of a selected location as a starting point. Collecting nature on a walk, could very much be a reflection of what it is I see in the city as I make my way through it, thus relating to how obsessive I am about nature. However, I need to have a system of documentation, preservation and cataloguing as that would be the context and narrative of the collection.

However, the abstract element of my drawings of nature spaces made me think of what I would imagine the specimens under the microscope to look like, made up of a variety of cells and details thus I could document more nature spaces and come up with my own interpretation of microscopic slides based on different natural locations in London.


Nature drawing from my sketchbook at Kew Gardens




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