University of Dundee

Exhibition to celebrate the work of D’Arcy Thompson goes on display

22 Sep 2017

The University of Dundee’s LifeSpace Gallery will be paying tribute to the work of D’Arcy Thompson to celebrate the centenary of his seminal book ‘On Growth & Form’.

‘Bubble, bulge, bleb’ will feature spirals, spheres and waves in art inspired by naturally occurring mathematical forms and computer-generated abstractions. It opens today, Friday 22 September and features work by artists including Mat Fleming, Andy Lomas, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and graduates from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

As part of a series of events to mark the centenary the exhibition will bring together works of art that are either directly inspired by the book, or are indirectly reminiscent of the mathematical forms that we find in the world around us. 

It has been 100 years since D’Arcy Thompson’s influential book, ‘On Growth and Form’, was published. It remains widely admired by biologists, anthropologists and architects and was produced during his time at Dundee. The pioneer of mathematical biology held the position of Professor of Natural History at University College, Dundee for 32 years. 

Lifespace Curator Dr Sarah Cook said, “Frequently, artists now use the same mathematical modelling tools and computer software that scientists do to create abstracts and generative forms.

“We are thrilled to be premiering new pieces by a master of the form, London-based artist Andy Lomas, who has had a series of his works acquired for the collection of London’s V&A Museum. For our exhibition here at LifeSpace, Andy is showing amazing new 3D-printed sculptures generated from his software. He has also been in conversation with physicist Dr Rastko Skepnek, and images from simulations from Dr Skepnek’s work are shown in the display ‘A Diagram of Forces’ outside the School of Life Sciences.”

‘Bubble, bulge, bleb’ will be on display in LifeSpace from Friday 22 September until Saturday 25th November. Part of the exhibition will also be on display at Centrespace in the DCA from Saturday 23 September to Saturday 28 October.

Entry is free and for more information go to

To see the full programme for the D'Arcy Thompson centenary, please visit the website at