Paper sculptures of microorganisms

Rogan Brown creates intricate paper sculptures inspired by microorganisms:

When looking at, for example, microbes and trying to imagine the vast colony of bacteria that lives in and on our bodies the range of factual visual representation available is relatively limited so I have to use my imagination to scale everything up and create an "artist's representation" of what it might look like. Scientific accuracy is not the goal, artistic and poetic truth are.

His sculptures are typically all white:

White maximizes light and shadow and evokes marble, dead coral and fossils. I think of my work as creating fossils, time fossils, imaginary fossils. I see myself as an archaeologist of the interface between nature and the imagination—nature IS imagination, according to William Blake. The fossil allusion also contains a warning about what we are in the process of doing to nature. In addition, white carries associations of purity and innocence, which is a counterpoint to the explicit sexuality. But above all, the calming effect of white allows me to be as frenetic and excessive as I like in terms of form without overwhelming the viewer. I have tried using color (or rather tonalities of the same color).

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"Cytokinesis Glial Variation" (hand and laser cut layered paper, 119x117cms/47×46") This work depicts the mitosis of a glial cell. These cells are known as the "supporting cells" of the nervous system . The four main functions of glial cells are: to surround neurons and hold them in place, to supply nutrients and oxygen to neurons, to insulate one neuron from another, and to destroy and remove the carcasses of dead neurons (clean up). Glial cells are notable for their dendritic (branch) structure and for being the only cells in the brain to undergo division in adulthood. Interestingly when Einstein's brain was analysed in 1985 by American scientist Marian Diamond she discovered that there was a much higher number of glial cells than in an average human brain. Subsequent research has revealed that astrocytes, a type of glial cell, are key elements in the creation of synaptic connections, perhaps explaining Einstein's superior intelligence. #paper #papercrafts #papersculpture #sciart #glialcells #scienceandart

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Rogan usually spends months on a sculpture, cutting the shapes by hand or with a laser:

Every piece starts with drawing, the finished work is really a layered three-dimensional drawing. I start with small sketches then work these up into detailed full-scale drawings that are then cut either by hand with a scalpel (e.g. "Cut Microbe" and "Outbreak") or alternatively with a laser (e.g. Magic Circle Variation). Each cut is then mounted on hidden card and foam board spacers of 1 or 2 cm depth and finally each layer is mounted on top of the other, glued, and pinned in place. Each stage of the process takes weeks and it's therefore labor intensive, especially for the larger hand-cut works that can take several months to produce.

You can read more about his work here.