I'm thrilled to have my 'Tree of Life' design commissioned for Books About Town a public art project for London this summer.
The project is a joint venture between Wild in Art and The National Literacy Trust and will feature a series of BookBenches, individually designed by artists, to celebrate stories linked with London and to promote reading for enjoyment. The benches shaped as open books, will be unveiled in various locations across the capital from July 2014. Well loved illustrators creating designs include Ralph Steadman, Paul Kidby and Lauren Child.
My design is inspired by Charles Darwin's book 'On The Origin of Species' published in 1859. This being such a mammoth topic I chose to concentrate on the concept of the Tree of Life which Darwin used as a metaphor to describe the relationship of all life on earth in an evolutionary context. There is an excellent documentary on the subject by David Attenborough which you can watch a clip of on the BBC.
Here is a sneak peak at my design. On the back rest of the BookBench I'll be painting a stylised tree with a variety of leaf shapes to represent the variety of species on earth. On the seat will be the roots of the tree, ( to represent the roots of all life on earth) interspersed with simple depictions of the history of the evolutionary changes, from single cell microscopic organisms, to fossils of past life forms and early man's representations of his own species and the animals around him.