Illustrator Gavin Rutherford has been selected to work with Literary Dundee and the University of Dundee’s Museum Services to toast the centenary of D’Arcy Thompson’s seminal book, On Growth and Form and the University of Dundee’s 50th anniversary, with a colouring-in book.
A free gift for pupils at Dundee high schools in September, the book will feature illustrations inspired by D’Arcy’s vast collection and varied research interests, from spider crabs to Huia birds, from skeletons and spirals to sea urchins.
A call for illustrators with links to the University of Dundee and DJCAD brought forth a staggering volume and range of creative talents and after much deliberation, Gavin, graduate from DJCAD in 2011, was selected. Gavin is now a freelance illustrator, graphics and pattern designer based in Edinburgh, and has won several awards for his work since graduation, including the Rachel Taylor Pattern Design Scholarship in 2013 and Jack Vetriano Art Scholarship.
Gavin said “Having a profound interest in the sciences, alongside a strong passion for art and visual design, the work of D’Arcy Thompson has always inspired me, informing my intricate illustrations and abstract patterns. His work has given me a deep appreciation of the powerful relationship between the beautiful visuals of the world as we experience it, and the hidden realm of science. Through this project, I have the pleasure of communicating this appreciation to younger generations, encouraging them to explore the joys of his life and teachings. From his study of delicate mathematical structures, to his expertise in biology and natural occurring patterns, D’Arcy Thompson represents the interconnectivity of all things and the complex threads that bind our world together.”
Matthew Jarron, curator of the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum said, “I’m sure D’Arcy would be delighted that his collection is still inspiring new forms of creativity and discovery today. The museum attracts thousands of visitors annually and this year in particular we want to showcase D’Arcy’s huge international importance through exciting projects like this.”
Peggy Hughes of Literary Dundee said “Gavin’s intricate and beautiful illustrations and Matthew’s expertise are set to make for a wonderful book, an imaginative place for a new generation of learners and thinkers to meet D’Arcy, and a fitting tribute to his legacy and the University’s role in our city of discovery.”
Literary Dundee is a University of Dundee-led initiative that connects books, readers, writers and the brightest ideas. We produce the annual Dundee Literary Festival (October), the Dundee International Book Prize for debut, unpublished novelists, and a variety of year round projects, events and publications (such as this one), working in concert with a range of partners within the University and outside it: https://literarydundee.co.uk/
The University’s Museum Collections include over 30,000 historic artefacts, artworks and specimens acquired during the institution’s existence. Matthew Jarron is responsible for the care, interpretation and accessibility of the University’s museum collections, which are used for learning and teaching within the University and for public engagement and wider impact locally and globally: https://www.dundee.ac.uk/museum/