The work of internationally renowned photographers will reach new audiences on the streets of Shrewsbury in a special exhibition inspired by ‘Evolution’ and the town’s links to Charles Darwin.

Acclaimed photography agency Magnum Photos has curated an exhibition of stunning photographs from the world’s leading photographers. ‘Evolution Explored, A Magnum Photos Exhibition’ will take place in the town of Darwin’s birth next year.

The project, the first of its kind for a UK town, will raise Shrewsbury’s profile nationally and internationally. It is a collaboration between Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID), The Hive Arts Centre, GRAIN Photography Hub and partners.

Launching on 9th February 2017 to coincide with International Darwin Day and Darwin’s birthday on 12th February, the free exhibition will be staged at two sites and run until 23rd April. The exhibition also links to Magnum Photos’ 70th anniversary which is to be marked by a series of international events, projects and partnerships.

Trish Donovan, owner of Vinterior and Shrewsbury BID Board Member, said: “Charles Darwin was born and raised in Shrewsbury. The town is rightly proud of this special connection to the man who became one of the most important figures in history with his theory of evolution by natural selection. It’s a unique event for the town to experience such renowned work and we expect it to attract thousands of visitors.”

Salla Virman, Director for the Hive added: “This is an exciting and inspirational arts project looking at evolution through the eyes of some of the most influential photographers around. ‘Evolution Explored’ will celebrate the link between Charles Darwin and Shrewsbury but also give everyone the opportunity to enjoy high quality art in an accessible way. We would like to thank Arts Council England for their support to make the project possible and sponsors Redrow Homes, Shrewsbury Shopping and Shrewsbury Colleges Group.”

“We are delighted to be collaborating on this outdoor exhibition, looking at Magnum’s archive through the prism of evolution. As Magnum moves into its 70th year, it is a timely concept as we reflect on our own history and evolution. The exhibition will display powerful historic and contemporary photographs exploring Darwin’s legacy in modern society,” said Emily Graham, Cultural Commissions & Partnerships at Magnum Photos.

Magnum Photos is a photographic co-operative owned by its photographer members. Noted for its diverse and distinctive work, Magnum chronicles the world and interprets its people, events, issues and personalities.

Today its four editorial offices in New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, and its network of sub-agents, provide photographs to the press, publishers, advertising, television, galleries and museums around the world.

It has approximately one million photographs in both print and transparency in a physical library, with more than 500,000 images available online. It is said that if you picture an iconic image, but can’t think who took it or where it can be found, it probably came from a Magnum photographer.

Evolution Explored, A Magnum Photos Exhibition, will be at St Mary’s Church and The Square, from 9th February to 23rd April 2017.