2005.These three light box art works were made through bringing together historical and contemporary images that play a crucial role in our understanding of genetic/genomic theory. Each is based on an engraving taken from Charles Darwin’s ‘Voyage of the Beagle’. During extensive periods of travel, Darwin’s curiosity and remarkable powers of observation, led him to formulate the theory of evolution. The topographical images of the 19th century world have been overlaid with auto rads. These are contemporary x-ray images, a stunning blue in colour, used to map genetic activity invisible to the human eye. This activity appears as a kind of blotting across the visual field of each image. Scientists translate the ambiguous form of these blots into sequences represented in the now familiar form of the letters GATC ( these represent the nucleotides Cytosine, Thymine, Adenine and Guanine.) Fragments of sequencing text have been incorporated into the image, for example, in the image View of the Rio De La Plata, this text takes the form of a rather ominous cloud cutting across on a low horizontal plane.
The ‘Topographies of the Genome’ were first exhibited at the Peter Chalk Centre, Universtiy of Exeter from July 2005 – August 2006 before moving to Byrne Houe, the home of Egenis, for permanent display.