Charles Darwin, JD Hooker letters

Letters to Darwin inspire artist Marianne Nix.

After Marianne Nix’ trip to Antarctica she looked into past travellers to the region. She discovered that JD Hooker, a Botanist had explored the region and had become life long friends with Charles Darwin  .

Joseph D Hooker a botanist was about to set sail to the region when he started to  exchange letters with Charles Darwin.  Hooker was hoping to learn from Darwin who had experience of collecting specimens on his five year trip on the Beagle. These letters began a long  exchange of inspiring ideas. They became life long friends.

J D Hooker wrote to Charles Darwin on June 24th 1849. This letter to  Darwin inspired the artist Marianne Nix to make several artworks: The various coloured jungle Kew, My Dear Darwin, The blaze of Rhododendron Kenwood, Black Rhododendron, Thought catcher, Collecting fragility, South and far South below the line, Tropical thoughts, Jungle shadows.

‘here however the blaze of Rhod. flowers & various coloured jungle proclaims a differently constituted region in a naturalists eye & twenty species here, to one there, always are asking me the vexed question, where do we come from?

Camp Sikkim Himal

June 24, 1849

The letters showed that these friends exchanged ideas and influenced each other. It brought home to the artist how much of her work is influenced by others.

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