We share this planet with millions of other species and depend on them for survival, but often take nature for granted. After Life explores the undesired impact of our actions - and inactions - through photographs of museum specimens, bringing the stories of lost and fading species to life.
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Natural history collections are a physical catalogue of the amazing diversity of nature. They allow scientists to describe and understand species; they also provide a first-hand opportunity for the public to experience the variety of life on our planet.
However, every preserved specimen represents a life lost. The human need to understand, enjoy and benefit from nature must be balanced against the right of other species to the continuation of life. This balance is all too often lost, with human interests taking precedence.
This exhibition portrays specimens of entire species that are losing, or have lost, the fight for survival. Because of their rarity these specimens are important, either as sources of knowledge that can help conserve species or as reminders of what has been lost. These portraits by artist Sean Dooley are intended to document and share their fading beauty.
After Life features taxidermy, skeletal mounts, models and other specimens photographed here at the Horniman Museum and Gardens and in the following museums
- Bell Pettigrew Museum, St Andrews
- D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum, University of Dundee
- Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL
- Hunterian Museums, Royal College of Surgeons
- Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
- Leeds City Museum
- National Museums Liverpool
- Zoology Museum, University of Glasgow