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The following website has some amazing photos of fancy pigeons: Fancy Pigeons by Richard Bailey

I’m sorry to have missed the exhibition:

‘Darwin’s Pigeons’

17 March – 11 April 2010

An Exhibition of Photographs by Richard Bailey

Fancy Pigeons played an important part in helping Darwin prove his theories and as last year, 2009, was the 150th anniversary since the publication of the ‘Origin of Species’ and also the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, Richard decided to photograph some of these exotic breeds and at the same time see if he could come to love the pigeon. After all, we are all used to the ‘London Pigeon’, which some would call the ‘flying rat’.

Charles Darwin set out to prove that all fancy pigeons are descended from the
common pigeon known as Columba Livia or Rock Dove and this particular research, would in turn help him with his theories towards the ‘Origin of Species’.
In 1855 Charles Darwin became a pigeon fancier and set up a breeding loft at his home in the village of Downe, Kent.

The images were intended to celebrate the pigeons which played such an important part in Darwin’s work, but then the project became more than that. The photographs became ‘portraits’ of the birds and they took on an anthropomorphization. Some pigeons looked into the camera with an unflinching gaze testing the viewer in a malevolent manner, whilst others looked on benignly, almost compassionately. The different breeds took on unusual characteristics, some looked a little bit naive, others have a conceit about them, an air of self-importance as they puff up their chests and present themselves to the camera.

Photographed in such a way that the abundance of colours on the different pigeons are brought out and emphasised, this series of weird and wonderful pigeons that Darwin worked with carries on the great tradition of classical animal iconography.

80 Harlesden Road London NW10 2BE

Gallery opening times during exhibitions:

Wednesday to Saturday 11am to 5pm
Admission: Free


For more information call Richard Bailey on 07956 971 520
Or Naomi Harrison on 020 8451 6315

(Info and photos from: http://www.artisan80.com/page10.htm)