Award winning Sheffield artist helps creates a ‘Virtual Ark’ for endangered species

What would a ‘Virtual Ark’ look like? Out of 15,000 animals threatened with extinction, which ones would you save?

By Angela Furniss
Thursday, 4th November 2021, 6:00 am

And just what is a ‘biobank’? A Sheffield artist is answering these questions and more with The Virtual Ark project.

Award winning Paul Evans, based at Yorkshire Artspace Persistence Works, has been working with writer Rowena Sommerville, The Frozen Ark biobank and Our Big Picture to deliver online creative workshops. Participants co-created a virtual 'gene bank' of endangered species before poetry and sculptures were submitted to Human VR’s Park Hill studio where they have been rendered into a beautiful 360 degree digital artwork now available to download.

“The ‘Virtual Ark’ is an amazing initiative that will help get the message out to young people, who hold the key to the future of our planet and its biodiversity” said Prof Mike Bruford, director of the Frozen Ark charitable frozen zoo project that aims to preserve the DNA of endangered species.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

‘Virtual Ark’ for endangered species.

Pete Massey, of Arts Council England, added: "As concern for the planet and the increasing extinction of animals continues to grow, I'm really pleased that we are supporting a project that raises awareness of this issue using the arts in conjunction with science.”

The Virtual Ark has been made possible thanks to public funding from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants programme and by the Wellcome Trust ISSF3 Public Engagement Proof-of-Concept Award #ARKS21stCentury.

‘Virtual Ark’ for endangered species.
‘Virtual Ark’ for endangered species.