Cerith Wyn Evans

A new work and performance located in the heart of ZSL London Zoo

Cerith Wyn Evans’ new installation for London Zoo is a sentence written in neon attached to the Snowdon Aviary, designed by Cedric Price, Frank Newby and Antony Armstrong Jones, the First Earl of Snowdon, in 1964. Wyn Evans’ piece is inspired by both the architecture and life of the aviary. Suspended parallel to the footbridge across the canal, the sentiment describes a moment of reverie and disclosure. The text is a wrongly-remembered line from James Merill’s otherworldly poem ‘The Changing Light at Sandover’, in which the poet reflects on the transcendent experience of watching Bunraku, Japanese puppet theatre. Wyn Evans believes that the same transcendence is present at the Snowdon Aviary, felt when looking at the birds going about their business, as the sky is seen through the mesh enclosure and against our own presence in the scene… held captive for a moment.” By creating an exhibition with an audience of both humans and animals, Wyn Evans twists the relationship between the subject and object involved in the viewing process. Important historical references for this work include Gino de Dominicis’ five-day exhibition ‘Zodiaco’ (1970) and Braco Dimitrijevic’s 1998 installations with living animals in the Paris Zoo. The Snowdon Aviary, designed by Antony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowdon), Cedric Price and Frank Newby, was one of the first places that Wyn Evans visited when he moved to London in the 1970s. 

Cerith Wyn Evans (b.1958, UK) was born in Wales and his conceptual practice incorporates a range of media, including sculpture, film, photography and text. He has participated in numerous exhibitions internationally, including the Venice Biennale (1995, 2003 and 2013) and Documenta 11 (2002). He began his career as a filmmaker, making his own short experimental films throughout the 1980s. Since the 1990s, his work has focused on language and perception in relation to the context of the exhibition site or its history. Partner: ZSL London Zoo | With thanks to Dusty Sprengnagel and