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Hand-Cut Paper Sculptures Of Microbes Make Bacteria Beautiful

"Outbreak" by Rogan Brown actually makes us want to stare at bacteria for hours on end.
July 10, 2014, 3:45pm

This article originally appeared on The Creators Project Netherlands, which can be viewed here

Four months, a tiny pair of scissors, and heroic amounts of patience: these were the elements artist Rogan Brown needed to create his fantastic sculpture series, Outbreak. The hand-cut, paper designs are a meticulous homage to the bacteria colonies that live inside humans. Brown describes the project as, "an exploration and re-presentation of the natural organic forms both mineral and vegetal," but with the larger goal of encapsulating the "microbiological sublime."


The artist finds inspiration through the repeated patterns and motifs that occur in the natural world, "from individual cells to large scale geological formations," and turns them into the interconnect sculptures. On one hand, they look like black and white images you'd find in a science lab, but if approached without context, Brown's work could appear as delicate, abstract sculptural forms.

"Although my approach involves careful observation and detailed 'scientific' preparatory drawings," he explains, "these are always superseded by the work of the imagination; everything has to be refracted through the prism of the imagination, estranged and in some way transformed."

The pieces in Outbreak take a particularly nasty subject—bacteria and pathogens—and highlight the hidden beauty vested in the organic patterns of the microbial world. Brown's project does something that few others can: it makes us want to look at bacteria for hours on end.

See some images from Outbreak below and visit Rogan Brown's site for more about his work.


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