If you’re like me, the only possible reaction to these recent photographs by marine biologist Alexander Semenov is “What is that? What is that?! WHAT IS THAT!?” Semenov is the head of the diving at Moscow State University’s White Sea Biological Station where he brings nearly a decade of underwater photography experience to a wide variety of research and exploration projects. He focuses mostly on invertebrate animals found in the Arctic ocean: squishy, wiggly, translucent creatures from jellyfish to worms found deep underwater, most of which have never been documented with such detail and clarity.
Semenov shares about his work in an artist statement:
My key specialism is scientific macrophotography in natural environments. This practice makes it possible to observe animals that cannot be properly studied under laboratory conditions, such as soft bodied planktonic organisms or stationary life forms living on the seafloor. My personal goal is to study underwater life through camera lenses and to boost people’s interest in marine biology. I do this by sharing all my finding through social media and in real life through public lectures, movies, exhibitions and media events.
Seen here are a collection of images from the last year including expeditions to the Southern Kuril Islands, the Southern Maldives, the White Sea, and the Mediterranean, but there’s hundreds of additional photos on Flickr.
Alitta virens swimming
Siphonophore from the Sea of Okhotsk
Tubastraea faulkneri – Sun Cup coral
Unidentified hudrozoan jellyfish
Bologna-based Italian artist Nunzio Paci (previously here and here) produces hauntingly detailed paintings that combine anatomical renderings with multi-colored blossoms and leaves. His latest series, Mimesis, is inspired by the idea of species evolving together over time, and the similarities shared by different organisms in order to better adapt to predators and climate.
“The concept, deriving from Plato and Aristotle’s theory on reality and imitation, draws inspiration from the natural phenomenon of mimicry in evolutionary biology and gives it a broader meaning,” Paci explained to Colossal. “In Mimesis, flora and fauna not only copy one another, they enmesh themselves in each other’s existence forming a cohesive organism, in an attempt to take shelter from the totality of the outside world.”
Within the series fauna helps to protect flora, creating a symbiotic relationship through the included animals’ death and rebirth. Flowers fill the hallows of presented carcasses while leaves grow to surround and overtake human skulls.
Paci recently exhibited these works as part of a solo show titled Mimesis at Galerie Stephanie in Manilla, Philippines and is currently a part of the group exhibition Dark Nature at Last Rites Gallery in New York City. You can see more of his work on Instagram and Facebook.
Artist Dan Rawlings merges subject matter that would seem to be in direct contrast to its medium: trees cut into an old silo or ferns that sprout from rusty street signage. A collision of urban and rural. “I try to create images that remind people of the moments when everything seems possible and free,” says Rawlings, “times when climbing a tree, or sitting admiring the way its branches twist and curl means nothing, but means everything.”
One of his most ambitious pieces, titled Nature Delivers, depicts the shell of a forest cut into the walls of an old delivery truck that was commissioned by Kendal Calling and Walk the Plank for the Lost Eden festival. Unfortunately, somebody set fire to the work earlier this year. You can see more of Rawling’s work on Instagram and in his online gallery.
Brooklyn-based artist duo Icy & Sot were recently in Tbilisi, Georgia where they installed this temporary piece titled “Nature’s Reflection” as part of Art-Villa Garikula. You can follow more of their recent work on Instagram, and also check out their recent book Let Her be Free that features over a decade of stencil work and street installations.
Japanese artist Miho Fujita crochets delicate sculptures of organic matter found in forests, turning handmade leaves, berries, and clusters of mushrooms into wearable objects. The works are all created from naturally dyed cotton, Fujita using plants to both inspire and dye her jewelry. You can see more of her crocheted works on her Facebook, Instagram, and online store. (via Lustik)
As part of an ongoing series to highlight various endangered species, Manila-based paper artist Patrick Cabral created these amazing cut paper portraits of tigers, pandas, pangolins, and other threatened animals. The multi-layered works are cut by hand and incorporate decorative flourishes and patterns into the the face of each animal. Working since last November, Cabral envisioned the series as a way to support endangered animals, and he’s donating half of the proceeds from the sale of each sculpture to WWF Philippines. You can see more from the series on Instagram.