A great end to 2017! My SEM micrograph titled ‘Microscopic Escher’ won 1st Prize in the National SAASTA Science Lens competition. Category: Science as Art

I am also delighted that my ‘Biofilm Hand’ was awarded a first prize in the National Science Foundation’s International Visualization Challenge –  Illustration Category

~Moving Science into Art

One of the delights of visualization is the implicit beauty if imaging – be it scientific or otherwise. Beauty is enhanced by scientific understanding. Even on its own, the symmetry and order of biological imaging can be as breathtaking as a scenic photograph – the mystery in the processes underlying order on microscale can capture and thrill the imagination. Manipulating scientific images, merging the micro and nanoscale with macro imaging can create unexpected visuals – and entertain and please the heart and eye. The colors resulting from light and fluorescent staining techniques, and the black and white contrasts provided by electron microscopic imaging, both provide a territory worth exploring, and boundaries waiting to be moved.

The poetry embedded in scientific phenomena is uncharted territory – both in the description of processes and pathways, and in the relation of science to humanity, with all the joy and pain it holds. Scientists are often viewed as unemotional beings, single minded devotees on the road to both self-fulfillment and self-destruction. The hardship in the pursuit of a truly original idea can be both a blessing and a curse. I think, therefore I am… I am, therefore I feel… Scientists, both men and women, have been driven through the ages by their pursuit of light… of understanding… of the exposure of truth. They have been accused, expelled, assassinated and cursed. The pain of rejection by peers – repudiation of ideas – has led to madness, and a solitude worse than the loneliness of merely being a singular individual. Inspiration from historical figures like the mathematician Hypatia, or an event as simple as having your ideas be presented in public, has led to poems – some scribblings, or mere endeavors to honest expression. I’ve added some recent Gedigte (poems) in Afrikaans, my favored tongue for these reflections.

Some visual explorations are in utero – a few in silico – and the inspiration in vivo, in vitro and in situ.