Microbial Musing

Have you ever wondered what makes Michele Banks tick? Nature Microbiology did. So, they asked her. You can read their interview with Michele here and gaze upon her lovely artwork for their homepage here.

Nature Microbiology: When did you first become exposed to scientific images?

Michele Banks: I started doing watercolours about 15 years ago. I was mainly working in pure abstraction, just playing with colour and with the properties of the paint. One of the things I love to do is wet-in-wet technique, which gives a ‘bleeding’ effect. I showed some of my wet-in-wet work at the Children’s National Medical Center here in Washington DC about 10 years ago, and they told me they liked my work because it looked like things under a microscope.

We hope the interest in the overlap of science and art will be a theme that continues throughout future Nature Microbiology issues – also open access, gender balance in publishing, shying away from bogus impact factors. etc. etc…

The Art of Science: Growth Factor

Betty Busby, a textile artist based in New Mexico, uses quilting to explore scientific themes.  Her large and often spectacularly detailed pieces represent biological processes, including cell division and the growth of plants and other organisms.

Busby uses photomicrographs of scientific images as inspiration for her work.  She says that because the colors in microscope photos are mostly artificially produced, either through chemical or lighting methods, it gives her the freedom to experiment with “the wildest color combinations I can think of, unhindered by expectations of realism.”

This piece, Growth Factor, looks at cell growth and development.  Busby printed the cell images on silk in a palette of green and gold, evoking a forest, then appliqued the purple organelles welling up in the middle. This piece will be shown at “Quilt Visions: Brainstorms”  at the Visions Art Museum in San Diego, CA, in October 2012.

You can see more of Busby’s work on her website  and at her etsy shop.

This post contains material that originally appeared in Guru magazine

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