Industrial Evolution

Imagine a place, many years from now, a dumping ground for broken machinery…an island perhaps, that has been turned into a giant scrap yard and then forgotten. Given enough time this artificial environment would become a factor in the natural selection of the animals living there. Over many generations creatures would evolve adaptations to take advantage of their unnatural surroundings.
“Industrial evolution” portrays just such a creature. Patient and cautious, camouflaged from predators and prey, it creeps through the landscape of twisted rusty metal, eking out an existence in a bizarre mechanical world.

“During the sculpting of “Evolutionary spiral” in 1993, I discovered in my research, many instances of how humans, and particularly industrialised humans, have had an impact on the direction of natural selection. The most well known example is probably that of the Pepper moth, a species of largely silver-grey individuals containing a smaller number of black mutants. The story goes that as the factories of the industrial revolution coated tree-trunks in soot, the black mutants rapidly became the majority in the moth populations in these industrial areas, as they suddenly had the advantage of better camouflage over their gray siblings. As laws were gradually enforced to reduce smog and the tree trunks returned to their normal colour, the moth population responded and the black/gray ratio shifted again.
This and other similar anecdotes, got me thinking about whether an animal could ever evolve to look like a man-made object. You only have to look at the insect world to see how well mantis and stick insects can mimic the plants on which they live. There are insects that look like stones and thorns, fish that look like seaweed and reptiles that look like bark. The one flaw in my plan was to assume that anything man-made could last long enough for radical influence on the selection process. So with a little artistic license I planned the piece. For the central figure I chose a chameleon, as it is synonymous with adaptive camouflage (although popular notions of it’s colour changing motives and capabilities are often misunderstood) and also because it would be easier to pick out from it’s background. I’m sure if I had chosen an insect that it would have blended in so well as to be completely invisible. That, I think would have been probably too subtle a statement! The scrap metal on which it sits is essentially anonymous, but hints at heavy industry/military origins. It is finished in rust, one of my favourite treatments for resin, which gives a wonderful aged look to it.”
Seamus Moran August 2006

The Industrial Evolution is a limited edition of 950 pieces. The piece is made to order and therefore delivery will take a few days extra. The piece is approximately 30cm x 22cm x 19cm and comes in a rusted iron finish.

£191.49 (£229.79 inc 20% VAT)

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