The Galapagos Installation for the Gilmour Suite of the Sainsbury Laboratory at Cambridge University The Galapagos Suite : 1st – 30th April ( North Yorkshire)
During the design stage of the new Sainsbury Laboratory in Cambridge University’s Botanic Gardens, Lord and Lady Sainsbury commissioned Norman Ackroyd to produce a major artwork as a centrepiece of the building. Given a totally free hand regarding subject matter, Ackroyd chose the Galapagos Islands in celebration of the centenary year of Charles Darwin’s birth.
His visit to the islands resulted in twenty sketchbooks of watercolours – and the problem of selecting a single image from them to illustrate this extraordinary environment. Instead, he decided to etch and stain 40 individual plates showing different aspects of the fauna, flora and landscapes, creating a composite piece measuring over ten square meters, one of the largest etched commissions ever undertaken.
His working method was to first create a maquette, by etching and printing all forty plates at half their intended size before repeating the whole process of etching and staining the plates to complete the commission. The project has taken two and a half years.
Zillah Bell Gallery is delighted to be showing the forty maquette etchings to coincide with the completion of the commission at the Sainsbury Laboratory. The etchings are available individually and there will be a strictly limited number of full sets in solander boxes.
Zillah Bell Gallery