Work by internationally renowned photographers will be unveiled in Shrewsbury next week for a much-anticipated free street exhibition to celebrate its famous son, Charles Darwin.

For the first time a UK town will host a display of 40 powerful, historic and contemporary photographs from the acclaimed Magnum Photos agency. The cultural coup has been made possible by a collaboration of partners and sponsors and their support will be acknowledged at a special reception to open the exhibition.

‘Evolution Explored, A Magnum Photos Exhibition’ opens on Thursday 9th February and runs until Sunday 23rd April at The Square and St Mary’s Church, examining the theme of evolution through images from around the world.

Lead sponsors Arts Council England, Shrewsbury Shopping, Shrewsbury Colleges Group and Redrow Homes, plus associate partner Shrewsbury Film are supporting the ten week event. Partners

Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID), The Hive Arts Centre, GRAIN Photography Hub and Magnum Photos have worked to make the project a reality. The sponsors will join partners, local business supporters and dignitaries to a launch reception on Thursday 9th February at St Mary’s Church in recognition of their backing.

Aleks Vladimirov, Partnership Development Manager at Shrewsbury BID said: “The exhibition is designed to bring high quality art to local people as well as attract visitors to the town. It is thanks to the amazing support of our partners and sponsors that this tribute to Charles Darwin, and a ‘first’ for the town, has been realised. It will be a great opportunity for everyone to celebrate the power of independent thinking about the world at large as captured in the exhibition.”

Follow up activities to support the ten-week exhibition, including a Magnum Photographer’s talk hosted by Shrewsbury Colleges Group and a Photo Safari challenge for children and adults on the theme of evolution.