In Darwin's Garden

In Darwin’s Garden

“In Darwin’s Garden” is a video installation that has been developed from digital images produced during a series of visits made to Down House, the former home of Charles Darwin during 2010-2012. This work is centred a set of time-lapse sequences and digital photographs of the ancient mulberry tree that grows close to the rear elevation of the house.
This tree and its location can be seen to be representative of the relationship between the domestic life of the Darwin

Family, the garden as a site for the careful and systematic observation of natural processes and the slow but inevitable change in the cycle of life and the seasons. This venerable tree was alive and growing both before and during the time that Charles Darwin and his family inhabited the house and although it is still alive at this time, the tree is now the final phase of its life.

An aspect of this project centres on having a dynamic digital experience of the tree after it’s death. This tree provides a special link across time back to Charles Darwin, his theories, work and ideas and his fascination with the forces of nature.

Four time-lapse cameras were sited in positions around the tree to record its growth and associated human activity over a period of twelve months. The resulting images have been combined with additional conventional digital photographs to produce a sequential and spatial experience of the tree and its immediate environment.

The installation developed from this visual material presents a complex multiple image and time-lapse view of the mulberry tree as it grows and changes throughout the year and through the seasons. Situated within a full size replica of the framework of the man-made structures that now support the slowly dying tree, the work produces a view of the tree in both physical and virtual space that can be explored and engaged using augmented reality software and viewed via tablets, smart phones and augmented reality glasses.

Experience the web version of the project at

Read more about Chris at

The Leonardo Electronic Almanac is featuring Chris and this project throughout August on their Facebook site with an interview with Chris, Rowan Blaik the Head Gardner at Down House and myself.