Project: Natural Things

Zoe Sadokierski & Katie Dean

Natural Things (Ad Fontes Naturae) is a global natural history project in the digital humanities; the goal is to trace how natural objects from around the world took on new meaning through the rise of modernity. For a forthcoming book, Zoe Sadokierski and Katie Dean are designing a suite of 15 ‘illustrated plates’ that appear at the beginning of chapters, and contributing an introductory chapter to contextualise their non-traditional approach to illustrating a scholarly text.

Dean and Sadokierski’s critical image making practice involves digitally manipulating historical images (botanical etchings and photographs), in order to prompt viewers to see these culturally loaded images anew. Editor McKenzie Cooley states the book aims to explore the “complex assembly of meanings assigned to natural things” - the plates extend this complex assembly of meanings into the realm of visual narrative.

Keywords:

research through design, illustration, politics of the image, decolonisation, critical practice

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