by Richard Dawkins
Trento, Italy, 18th July 2015, I will be speaking at the inauguration of Jonathan Kingdon’s EX AFRICA exhition: “Explorations of Art and Science”.
Jonathan is surely our greatest living animal artist, as well as being a deeply knowledgeable scientific zoologist.
His many books on zoology, zoogeography, anthropology and evolution include Lowly Origins, Self-Made Man, Island Africa, and beautifully illustrated field guides to African mammals. Most importantly he is the principal editor, author and artist of the magisterial 6-volume Mammals of Africa. His art – drawing, painting, sculpture – is informed by deep zoological knowledge, including evolutionary knowledge, so that one might almost call him a post-Darwinian Leonardo.
Here’s an interview that I did of him in Africa (raw footage, which was then edited down for television) in this case about human evolution rather than about his art.
And here are some examples of his art:
Drawings of crested rat Lophiomys imhausi
Page of African mammals
“Evolution on the Wing”. Mural.
And here is Jonathan’s sculptural lament for The Last Quagga, shot for “sport” or for a trophy.