PLANTWORKS: A Factory As It Might Be, Symposium

  • 13 May 2017
  • 10:00 - 14:00
  • Free admission. Please book in advance for this event. Tickets are available via Eventbrite

    The event is open to all, although we are restricted to a maximum of 40 people. 

Presentations and discussion exploring Morris’s relationship with industry through the lenses of nature and landscape, technology and utopia; plants, production and time; and biomimetics.

Presentations and speakers include:

Infernal Machines? William Morris, Technology and Utopia, Dr Will Abberley, Lecturer in Victorian Literature, University of Sussex 
This talk will explore Morris's complex attitude to machines.

Plants, Production and Time, Professor Esther Leslie, Professor of Political Aesthetics, Birkbeck, University College London

This contribution considers the plant as a generator of form and forms that link in peculiar ways to time and industry. 

An Introduction to Biomimetics, Professor Andrew Parker, Biomimetics Expert

Presenting an introduction to biomimetics, illustrated with fascinating case studies, notably including designs of photonic devices found in nature.

Landscapes of Industry, Dr Matt Thompson, Head Collections Curator for English Heritage

This presentation looks at the ways in which industry began to be portrayed by artists in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries.

Plantworks: A Factory As It Might Be, Clare Mitten, Artist

Clare will cover the development of her project Plantworks and will explore some of the key ideas and themes in the making of the new three-dimensional models and their two-dimensional counterparts installed at the William Morris Gallery

The event will be chaired by Paul Rosenbloom, Artist

Paul has exhibited work based on fossils in several Natural History Museums, including London, Cambridge, Oslo and Cardiff.


The symposium will be followed by refreshments and launch of the project publication, with commissioned essay by Esther Leslie, on Saturday 13 May, 15:00 - 17:00 in the Acanthus Room.

PLANTWORKS is generously funded by Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts.