Human beings are similar to other living organisms in more ways than we could ever imagine. And artist Rogan Brown is going to show us this similarity on a seemingly microscopic level through paper art. Fascinated by the diversity of human microbiome, he creates paper sculptures that mimic the microscopic aggregate of all the microbes that live on and in humans.
Those who haven’t seen microbes under a microscope would be quick to assume that these paper sculptures are modeled after coral reefs. Actually, they’re not entirely wrong. The artist himself is fully aware of the striking likeness of human microbiome to underwater ecosystems. Every bacteria, protozoa, archaea, eukaryote, virus, and other microorganisms in the human body resembles stony coral, sea anemone, and other tiny species found underwater. With their fractal patterns, it’s almost impossible to differentiate a human microbiome from a coral reef.
Stunning Paper Art Representing The Diverse Human Microbiome
Through paper art, Brown demonstrates the beauty and complexity of nature by creating a space where art and science meet. By copying patterns and motifs that occur in the natural world, he develops an aesthetic approach to create sculptural forms that are both real and surreal. He chooses paper as his material due to its paradoxical qualities that are present in nature. Fragile yet durable, strong yet delicate, a material that was derived from the forest, cut, and transformed into something that represents its origins. The figurative symmetry of the medium makes it the most ideal material to emulate the perception of nature.
“What the reef and the microbiome have in common is that they both consist of biodiverse colonies of organisms that coexist more or less harmoniously.”, Brown explains. “There are further parallels between coral and human beings in that we are both symbiont organisms. That is we depend on a mutually beneficial relationship with another species: coral only receive their beautiful colors from varieties of algae that live on them and human beings can only exist thanks to the unimaginably huge and diverse number of bacteria that live in and on them.”
Each paper sculpture consists of hand cut pieces of paper that are meticulously arranged sheet after sheet in a scientific fashion. A piece typically takes months to complete as the process involves slow and careful act of cutting using a scalpel knife. The result is an astonishing paper art that makes you feel as if you’re looking under a microscope.
Source: Rogan Brown