Design For Monument To Sir Francis Galton
Oil on canvas
66 x 76.2 cm
Sir Francis Galton was Charles Darwin’s cousin; a polymath in his own right, his many research interests included developing systems for classifying people. He pioneered the use of questionnaires, surveys and the collection of statistics to define social groups. He was also the inventor of a practice called ‘composite photography’ which used the comparative analysis of peoples’ portraits to determine their character ‘type’. Through this system, he aspired to identify the common facial features of criminals. Hetherington’s Design For Monument To Sir Francis Galton poses a teenager’s baseball cap on top of a road works cone – a stolen object ever popular with vandals looking to deface public sculptures. The cone becomes both a readily identifiable ‘face’ of deviance, as well as signifying fool’s ‘hat’ for the classifiers of this defiance.