3rd - 28th August 2015
Joondalup, Western Australia
2nd - 14th November 2015
Wanneroo, Western Australia
18th November, 2015 -
13th January, 2016
In 1915, in Georgian England, Alfred John Bamford was creating pictures for an exhibition. One hundred years later, and half a world away in Western Australia, his great-grandson Michael John Bamford is also preparing for an exhibition. The Artful Gene is the ultimate retrospective and progressive project.
Michael’s wife Mandy recalls their first trip to England. Michael’s aunt handed him his great-grandfather’s weathered old sketchbooks, saying, “You’re the artist in the family; you should have these”. Mandy remembers, “We opened the books and inside were drawings of A.J.B’s travels and the animals that he encountered”. It was uncanny; the style was identical to Michael’s, and yet they had never met, and Michael had never seen his work. He had begun to paint and had his first exhibition by the time he saw Alfred’s sketchbooks. Perhaps artistic talent is ‘in the genes’.
The Artful Gene project is a joint exhibition of two artists and naturalists, working a century apart, in two continents. Alfred lived in Letchworth, UK, the world’s first ‘garden city'. Michael lives in Joondalup, Western Australia, a ‘biodiverse’ city. The parallels are fascinating.
The exhibition includes works by both artists, sketchbooks, and published books to examine the artists’ process and motivations. It explores the historical context and the role of art in communicating biodiversity values.