Vernon Edwards at the Horniman Museum.

This is a short speculative video essay made in response to the collection of objects made by Vernon Edwards on display at the Horniman Museum.

Over the past few years I’ve been exploring the Horniman Museum and thinking about their natural history collections and galleries through the lens of my interest in science fiction. This is a short video I made a few months ago in relation to the models of Vernon Edwards, some of which are on display in the galleries.

Now beyond our reach, this video offers a short virtual tour of these objects.

Dan Byrne-Smith, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Theory.

11 thoughts on “Vernon Edwards at the Horniman Museum.

  • Lovely close-ups of those models, Dan.
    Sound-track your own composition?
    I am going to hunt down my favourite illustrations of dinosaurs gnashing each other in the prehistoric hurly-burly of the Jurassic. You know the kind …where there is at least seven different gigantic species fighting it out on air, land and water at the edge of some swamp, perhaps with a tiny proto-mammalian, shrew-like creature scurrying for cover in the corner, waiting for the meteorite to strike, so they can take over the world.

    • You should look at John Sibbick’s artwork! I mentioned about him below but he painted a lot of the images that were in the dinosaur books I had as a kid and the heavy metal album covers and warhammer games me and my brother loved back in those days.


    • Those shrew-like creatures are the ones you have to watch out for.

  • Very interesting! I haven’t been to the Horniman Museum in nearly a decade. If this is any interest to you John Sibbick the artist who painted lots of images of dinosaurs for the Natural History museum displays and illustrated a fair few dinosaur books also painted the artwork for the Warhammer Games and album covers for one of my favourite bands Bolt Thrower. I have always found the link between these images very interesting. Thank you for posting this 🙂

  • Dan Byrne-Smith

    I recognise a lot of these dinosaur images, it looks like his paintings have been really important in shaping the visual identity of prehistoric life. I also recognise those White Dwarf/Warhammer paintings. All this and Bolt Thrower too, although it looks like Warhammer 40,000 images repurposed for album covers. Nevertheless, great stuff, and a really interesting overlap for me between the fantasy/sf realms and natural history, which I’ve always had trouble separating in my head anyway.

  • The Horniman is a remarkable space – Dan I love the film and the soundtrack [did you make that too?]

    The notion that dinosaurs exist only as representations is of course true – Chrystal Palace Great Exhibition dinosaurs anyone?

    Also there is of course the Horniman Walrus, over stuffed and confused looking. Poor old thing.

    • Thanks. The soundtrack is mine, my videos and performance presentations are all just an excuse to get my synths out and twiddle my knobs.

  • Dan I love it! I just posted a composition the tech team did a couple of years ago [non material making] – I am no synth man but I really enjoy the scope of the things.

    For my sins I play 5 string banjo and pedal steel guitar!

    You got any uploaded on sound cloud of the like?

    • I need to get on with actually doing some recording, I’ve hardly done any. I am going to try to create some recorded music over the coming months. I normally just fiddle about and improvise.
      I’ve a few bits from a couple of years ago, just as I was initially bitten by the synth bug. They are available here.

      I do also have some experiments in podcasting from a few years ago. Didn’t really go any further with it, but that might change under the present circumstance. I think they are also there with the wunderkammer stuff, or can be found here.

      I’ve heard you playing with Chelsea’s other D Smith.
      I’ve also dabble with a uke, but can’t play it, yet. Again, I might get a lot better.

  • Hello Dan. A great video essay that brilliantly covers all the bases of dinosaurs in popular culture and beyond. Really enjoyed the 2000 AD’s Pat Mills Flesh comic strip and Ray Harryhausen’s underrated The Valley Of Gwangi references, coincidently both stories have a cowboy theme running through them.

    The late paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote a great short essay titled “Dinomania” that critiques Crichton’s and Spielberg’s Jurassic Park in his great book Dinosaur In A Haystack.

    • Thanks Mariana. I used to read SJG quite a bit, I need to revisit his work. I will read again as it has been a very long time. Dinosaurs and cowboys, I’m sure Mills must have been influenced by Gwangi. I might need to email and ask him.


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