As a grand finale to the Natural Selection exhibition, Andy Holden will perform a new piece of work with his band The Grubby Mitts alongside a specially written text on migration narrated by his father, Peter Holden.
Join us as we celebrate the exhibition’s homecoming to Bristol, where Andy’s research journey began.
About Natural Selection
Natural Selection brings together Andy and Peter’s personal collections of found objects with birdsong, a human-scale bower bird structure, delicate birds’ nests from our own collection, thousands of exquisite replica eggs and two new video works.
Darwin once considered the bowerbird as the closest thing to an artist found in nature. The male bowerbird builds a structure from sticks and decorates it with brightly coloured objects to attract a mate.
The first part of the exhibition features a human-scale arched structure made with willow to echo the elaborate bowerbird construction. It also features Andy’s collection of nests and Peter’s collection of feathers, alongside a number of wood-turned sculptures whose forms are derived from sonograms of bird song.
The second part of the exhibition considers the psychology of egg collecting and how the desire to possess something rare can sometimes have terrible consequences.
The artist uses 7,130 replica eggs to imitate a hoard that was uncovered in Cleethorpes in 2006. Including numerous examples of eggs from endangered birds such as the osprey and golden eagle, it was the largest ‘bust’ of birds’ eggs in Britain. The painted porcelain eggs are so precisely realised that they are almost indistinguishable from the real thing.