seeds

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Photography Science

Colored Micrographs Magnify Pollen Seeds, Plant Cells, and Leaf Structures in Photographs by Rob Kesseler

December 5, 2019

Grace Ebert

Medicago arborea. All photographs (c) Rob Kesseler, shared with permission

Using scanning electron microscopy and a mix of microscopic, scientific, digital, and manual processes, artist Rob Kesseler develops colored micrographs of the intricate patterns within pollen and seed grains, plant cells, and leaf structures. The highly magnified photographs feature specifics of cellular composition that are undetectable without magnification.

Kesseler tells Colossal that as a child, his father gifted him a microscope, marking a pivotal moment in his creative career. “What the microscope gave me was an unprecedented view of nature, a second vision,” he writes, “and awareness that there existed another world of forms, colours and patterns beyond what I could normally see.” The artist says his use of color is inspired by the time he spends researching and observing, and that just like nature, he employs it to attract attention.

Kesseler calls the intersection between art and science “a process and a product, a morphogenetic synthesis of two expansive cultures and a way of examining the world through a series of filters.” And he has hope for the relationship between the two disciplines, saying, “I like to think we are entering a new age where after a century of separation, artists and scientists are again working together, sharing ideas that reflect our age.”

Currently the chair of Arts, Design and Science at Central Saint Martins, Kesseler also is a fellow of the Linnean Society, the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Microscopical Society. His most recent work includes a project with journalist Mathew Tucker of the BBC and a collaboration with Dr. Louise Hughes at Oxford Instruments. Both deal with the impacts of climate change on the plant world.

You can find more of Kesseler’s painstakingly created photographs on his Instagram and in his books featuring pollen, seeds, and fruit. (thnx, Mike!)

Santolina chamaecyparissus

Avena fatua

Scabiosa cretica

Salix caprea

Daucus carota

Anemone hortensis

Viburnum

Allium

 

 



Art

Delicate Miniature Sculptures Made From Dandelion Seeds by (euglena)

June 18, 2019

Johnny Waldman

Blowing the white fluffy seeds off a dandelion is a universal childhood experience. Who hasn’t delighted in watching a gentle breeze carry the bristles off into the distance. But for this Tokyo-based artist who goes by the name (euglena), the fluff serves a different, artistic purpose. She harvests them to create impossibly delicate sculptures that beg to be observed up close. Just don’t sneeze.

(euglena) uses dandelion seeds to create abstract shapes and forms that somehow manage to balance and maintain their figure. It’s difficult to fully appreciate the artist’s work in photographs because the element of air and movement is so important in the work.

In the video below, you can see the sculpture sway back and forth: a reaction to the movement and breathing of visitors observing her work.

Most recently, (euglena)’s work was on display at the 2019 Japan Media Arts Festival (through June 16, 2019) where she won Best New Artist. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with her work. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by (euglena) (@__euglena) on

 

 



Photography Science

Thorny South African Seeds Get an Up Close Examination in Macro Photographs by Dillon Marsh

June 10, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In order to spread as widely as possible, some varieties of seeds will grow sharp thorns and burs. These sharp points allow the seeds to attach themselves to unsuspecting animals or humans unnoticed, and has earned them the moniker of “hitchhiker plants.” Photographer Dillon Marsh (previously here and here) is accustomed to these seeds hitching a ride on his shoes or clothes during photo excursions through tall grasses of his home in South Africa. Curious about the details hidden beyond their sharp edges, Marsh began to take macro photographs of these natural objects which reveal the often unnoticed resemblance to faces or skulls.

To create such detailed photographs Marsh set up a tiny photo studio. “After carefully lighting the seeds, I then photographed them using a macro lens which allows me to zoom in but leaves me with a very narrow depth of field,” Marsh explains to Colossal. “To overcome this, I take several photos of each seed, incrementally focussing along its entire depth. I then stack the images together in Photoshop in order to create one fully detailed image.”

Marsh is currently adding works to his series Counting the Costs, in which the photographer digitally embeds spheres of melting glaciers amongst city life in India, and soon other parts of the world. You can view more of his projects on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art

Otherworldly Tropical Fruits and Plants From the Imagination of Ceramicist William Kidd

November 5, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Ceramicist William Kidd has been working for over 25 years using a combination of wheel throwing and hand building to form his imaginative organic specimens. The Florida-based artist shares in a statement on his website that he draws inspiration from the natural world: “my work is not an imitation of any real living thing, but rather life forms that might exist in some other worldly place.” Kidd uses low-fire red earthenware finished with oxide stains, underglazes, and crawl glaze to form sculptural seeds, fruits, and flowers. Spikes and bulges protrude from beneath the surfaces of the brightly colored and richly textured pieces, with stalks and flowers bursting through, indicating a forthcoming metamorphosis. Kidd frequently shows his work at art festivals and fairs, especially in Florida. You can keep up with his show itinerary on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Hand-Dyed Crocheted Thread Carefully Covers Eggs, Seeds, and Tree Trunks

May 25, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Esther Traugot connects to the natural world by collecting and covering seed pods, eggs, severed tree trunks, and other natural objects in tightly-wrapped textile “skins.” She uses hand-dyed gold threads to crochet around these objects in order to temporarily mend what has previously been broken or abandoned. Through her work Traugot straddles the line of nurture and control, investigating her dual role as a member and observer of the natural landscape.

“The meticulous act of crocheting mimics the instinct to nurture and protect what is viable, what is becoming precious,” she explains in an artist statement. “As in gilding, these false ‘skins’ imbue the objects with an assumed desirability or value; the wrapping becomes an act of veneration. Although futile in its attempt at archiving and preservation, it suggests optimism.”

Traugot is interested in “contemporary naturalism,” or artwork that cares for the environment in our current global ecological state, and also views her work in conversation with Land and Environmental Art and Feminism. She received her BFA from the University of California Berkeley in 2005 and her MFA from Mills College in 2009. Traugot is represented by Chandra Cerrito Contemporary Gallery in Oakland, California, and currently lives and works in Sebastopol, CA. You can view more of her gold threaded objects on her website.

 

 



Amazing Science

Remarkable Footage of Plants That Explode to Disperse Their Seeds

June 12, 2015

Christopher Jobson

The Smithsonian Channel just shared this brief new clip of three plant species that use different methods of propulsion to spread their seeds. The filmmakers captured slow motion footage of violets, touch me nots, and poisonous squirting cucumbers (!) as they explode in some pretty incredible ways. (via Boing Boing, The Kid Should See This)

asploded-1

 

 



Amazing Science

This Humidity-Powered Seed Plants Itself by Drilling into the Ground

March 23, 2015

Christopher Jobson

seed

Now in contention for the world’s most incredible seed, I give you the seed of the Erodium plant. Powered by humidity, the seed falls to the ground and turns clockwise when wet (or counter-clockwise when dry) to effectively drill itself straight into the ground like a screw. The process here is sped up a bit, but it doesn’t appear to be edited or reversed. (via The Awesomer)