• The Museum Hummingbird

Informed by my first-hand experience in natural history museums and inspired by their sixteenth century precursors, my PhD project - The Museum Hummingbird: Transforming Nature, Creating Wonder - was guided by a single question: In what ways can I appropriate processes used in crafting museum specimens to reanimate their former spirit and in turn, reflect on notions of transformation and wonder.

Coinciding with the introduction of New World hummingbird specimens by Christopher Columbus into Old World Europe in 1492, the opening of new trade routes facilitated rigorous trade in rare and exotic items of never-before-seen aspects of the natural world. This trade in exotica promoted the development of Wunderkammer - Cabinets of Wonder, that stood at the cusp between two intertwined modes of collecting: on the one hand, harking back to a time when relics, mystical visions and mythological lore held sway; and on the other, laying the groundwork for the ordered field of empirical observation that continues in scientific methods today.

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