Lyndal Osborne was born in Newcastle, Australia. She studied at the National Art School in Sydney and received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin. Since 1971, Osborne has been based in Edmonton and is a Professor Emeritus in Department of Art and Design, University of Alberta. Osborne has been exhibiting in Canada and internationally since the early 1970s and has shown in over 350 exhibitions. Her installation work speaks of the forces of transformation within nature, and comments on pressing issues relating to the environment. In her recent work, Osborne has focused on an examination of the issues of genetically modifi ed organisms for subject matter. Her work is represented in numerous Canadian collections, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Alberta. Recent exhibitions include Dunlop Gallery, Penticton Art Gallery, Robert McLaughlin Gallery and Canadian Clay and Glass Museum.
“I have created Darwin and the arc of time: Barnacles to Volcanoes to suggest a laboratory as well as a 19th century cabinet of curiosities. This imaginary laboratory/workbench has been created to celebrate the journey that Charles Darwin made in 1831 on the H.M.S. Beagle. Darwin brought back to a European audience specimens and drawings of his discoveries, which a few years later helped him to formulate his theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species. My installation simulates a cabinet of curiosities with forms of ocean life that represent the richness and variety that he saw some 150 years ago. Since the early 19th century, changes in the scientific and natural world have been overwhelming. I try to imagine what Darwin first saw, the curiosity and wonder it created in the public, and what has occurred in the intervening century and a half. There is a dark side to my investigation, in that we are now in an age of extinctions. I want to highlight the crisis that global oceans are undergoing as a result of global warming, rising sea levels, pollution, acidification, depletion of fish populations and ocean dead zones that lack the oxygen to sustain life.”
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