SpeakersSteve Hughes, Deborah Robinson, Keith Nichols
Organised byEgenis and Exmouth Library
This open public workshop took place during National Science and Engineering Week, and discussed the collaboration of artists and naturalists in developing our knowledge of the world. It highlighted the contributions of Darwin and the artists of the Beagle voyage, in particular Exmouth’s Conrad Martens. Very appropriately, the workshop took place at Exmouth Library, the site of Elm Cottage where Martens lived before leaving for South America, joining HMS Beagle in Montevideo.
The workshop featured three sessions:
- An illustrated introduction to Martens’ life and work and his experiences of the voyage, with Professor Steve Hughes
- An opportunity to search the international collection of Martens’ work online and to project findings onto the big screen for open discussion. The work includes some outstanding paintings and drawings of Exmouth and its environs as well as sketchbooks from the voyage and landscapes of Tahiti and Australia. Other archival materials and books were available for inspection.
- An exploration of the context of Martens’ and the other Beagle artists’, and also Darwin’s, work, looking at: what scientists gain from voyages with artists; what artists gain from exploration with scientists; what motivates artists and scientists to be creative; and what the voyage meant to Darwin. There were contributions from Steve Hughes, Deborah Robinson (artist), Keith Nichols (psychologist and arts author and commentator).