Art Forms in Nature: 100 Days, 100 Artworks


Sat, 7 October 2023 - Sun, 17 December 2023.


An exhibition which invites you to look closer…

Ernst Haeckel observed nature in great detail, often under a microscope and with his stylized drawings and watercolours captured the forms of thousands of species. His most famous publication is his multi-volume 1904 series ‘Art Forms in Nature’ (from which this exhibition takes its name), which became known as a “visual encyclopedia” of living things.

On 1st January 2022, Mark Butler started a creative challenge using this rich resource of Haeckel drawings to provide inspiration to make a new clay design every day for the first 100 days of the year. Mark posted images of his creations on Instagram as he went along, inviting viewers to contribute words inspired by these pieces; some people took it on as a personal challenge for themselves to submit words for all 100 pieces. The contributors didn’t see the Haeckel drawing which inspired each piece, so the words were purely inspired by close observation of the clay form Mark had created and the viewers’ imagination. The text for each finished piece was selected from these contributions and overall there are words provided by 28 different people.

This exhibition will showcase a selection of the finished pieces, along with other artwork inspired by the project.

You can see all the contributions and work in progress on Mark’s Instagram and there is a project page on his website.