Have you ever wondered where dogs come from? What did the ancestor of the Corgi look like? What about cows? What did their great, great (times 10,000 grandmothers look like?).
What will pets and farm animals look like in a thousand years time? With climate change and an increasing human population, will we need smaller, cleaner, transportable pets – a micro dog the size of a mobile that poops pellets perhaps? How about a racing tortoise? How would you breed a turtle for speed – longer legs or maybe a lightweight shell with spoilers?
Future Animals began as a series of day long workshops that took place at Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales. During these workshops pupils from St Albans RC High School Pontypool, Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr and students from Cardiff ITEC were given the knowledge and skills to design the pets and farm animals of the future. A team of archaeologists, a genetic scientist and an award winning artist were on hand to assist and to offer information and advice.
We also discussed the rights and wrongs of all this – is it right for us to change the way that animals look and behave just so that we can have a cute or cuddly companion or a docile source of food?
The drawings that were made during these workshops were on display at the Future Animals exhibition space at Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales during March and April 2010. They were accompanied by a short, specially commissioned film.
Future Animals was a creative project funded by Beacons for Wales and was the result of a collaboration between Cardiff University School of History and Archaeology, Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales, the artist Paul Evans and Techniquest.
Future Animals has its own blog