Pathogen mutations

My work ties together mythological stories of creation with an exploration of organic materials, and minerals, found in my garden, studio, and home.
In this series entitled “Beings”, I propose microbes as inanimate matter sparked with life from prebiotic waters, growing with accumulated material through eras’ of evolution – organic matter generated as a result of a union between bacteria and viruses. Into repetitive patterns or eccentric forms imitating a handful of pathogens behind major pandemics since urbanization, I pasted photographs and drawings of minerals, fungi, vegetation, and insect anatomies, to create multiple layers of digital images. This pâté of material is a kind of visual alphabet I use to create images in the same way atoms, molecules, and amino acids form building blocks for life with infinite evolving forms.
Invisible and mysterious, with a force unknown to Man for millennia until science recently revealed their workings, our lifestyles have allowed pathogens to multiply. Paradoxically Humankind like microbes benefits Nature and equally destroys it given the opportunities such as war, industrialization, deforestation, and glorious years of colonization… where it is seen that some flourish and others perish.
I imagine Nature’s (including humans’) threads of DNA and RNA intrinsically entwined with viruses and bacteria, all evolving in response to the others’ advances or retreats, in a curious game of tug-of-war where there are no winners without probable catastrophic consequences when broken or when the balance between the two are unequal.
The photographs include a selection of archaic bacteria and viruses harvested and revived from thawing permafrost in Siberia and the Alpine mountains, continuing with pathogens behind horrifying diseases through history, Viral hemorrhagic fevers, Influenza, and terminates with Coronavirus.
I am fortunate to say that SARS-CoV-2 is the first pathogen I experienced close at hand and having such an impact on so many lives, I felt inspired to create an image evoking burial wreaths imitating the pathogens’ repeat pattern in memory of those lost during the pandemic. I also had in mind burial sites of our distant ancestors Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, adorned with offerings of flowers, amber, shells, red ochre, and intend to elaborate on this theme in future creations.

Tirage photo ultraHD sous Plexi
40 x 40 cm minimum to 120 x 120 cm maximum