Exhibition: Seeds of Change

Hosted by Gilbert White’s House, Selborne


Tuesday 6 June to Monday 28 August 2023


Free with admission


More details are available from the organisers website


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The exhibition tells an alternative story about seeds and how they are inspiring contemporary scientists with their natural ingenuity

The artist Clare Newton has travel the length and breath of Britain in search of the most intriguing aspects about seeds. The come back and work up some incredible images and stories about the adventures and people she has met.

We all know that humans learn from nature. One such project based on the germination of seeds is called Cyber Seeds. It is being developed by Queen’s University Belfast to enable humans to “Grow” bridges and other feats of mechanical engineering!

The scientific team have calculated a mathematical equation for a plant’s process of germination and converted it to make a computer’s algorithm. This algorithm will later be able to grow anything from a bicycle made of local materials such as bamboo to a giant bridge.

Another project that has been inspired by seeds is the Powerless flight of seeds. A scientific team in Edinburgh University, have first discovered the dandelion seed is the most effective and stable flyer of all the hairy/pappus seeds. It uses something called a separated air vortex which is invisible to the eye, but through specialist laser intervention it can now be seen. The team have been experimenting on how to make an imitation seed from which to suspend a computer. Their ambition is to create energy-free flight so that one day biologists can analyse climate change on the wind and send back complex reports to the labs.

Ever seen a 56 million year old seed? – Well we have one and can show you its relatives are still around today. Seeds have stories too At the Heritage Seed library, people all around the country have been sending in their family’s heirlooms, many of which have a story to tell.

“Percy Parker (Phaseolus vulgaris) Our donor was given these seeds by a friend who had, in turn, been given the beans by Percy Parker himself. Percy had grown this variety since World War Two in Barcombe, East Sussex. Unfortunately, Percy passed away, but his name lives on in this lovely bean.”

The exhibition consists of a series of composite photographs, microscopic images of seeds, interviews with scientists and video sketches to convey the wonder of current research into how seeds are informing horticultural development and non- horticultural areas of science. Its aim is to appeal to a broad audience, including families; school groups; adults and specialists.

Bringing together inspiring stories and visual trails for the public to enjoy.

Clare Newton has also published a nature book “Colour of Silence” heralded by BBC TV Nature Presenter Kate Humble

Clare Newton FRSA
Photographic Artist & curator