The inspiration behind this plate is my love of history, particularly the year 1856, The Royal Society & its ‘experimental gentlemen’ are key in the concept of The Society inc. They include some of my favourite historical figures: Charles Darwin, Joseph Banks, William Dampier, John Bartram & Peter Collinson, who were either members or were desperate to be members!

At The Society inc you do not have to be independently wealthy or be a gentleman, our membership is free & everyone is invited – it’s BYO ideas, outlandish as possible please, however you do have to adhere to The Royal Society’s motto ‘Nullius in verba’ meaning ‘take nobody’s word for it’.

The mid-1800s where a-changing with the understanding of kerbing scurvy, sophisticated new navigation tools & the charting of the tradewinds led to a flurry of English seafaring exploration from the mid 18th century on. The oddities&curiosities, botanicals, animals & bird specimens & other treasures that were carefully transported back, began to spark the imaginations of the general public as well as the exciting travel journals of seafaring adventures & far-flung exotic places being published. The traditional religious understanding of how the world was created began to be questioned with the opening of Kew Gardens in 1840, The Great Exhibition at the Crystal palace in 1851 and the publishing of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 1859 amongst other world altering events. This was a great time of change, excitement, experiment, discovery and imagination; the world & how it was viewed was in the process of changing forever!

Written by Amber TSI Byron — October 29, 2019

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