Fagus grandifolia – American beech; highly magnified view of a stoma on the leaf surface. Hand-colored micrograph.
Artist Rob Kesseler merges the disciplines of art and science in his Canopy series, which explores the up-close intricacies of plant life that are normally unseeable. To capture these incredible magnified pictures, Kesseler employs scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which he then meticulously colors by hand. These micrographs show the wondrous details of pollen, seeds, and fruit.
Despite his penchant for micrography, Kessler is actually a professor at Central Saint Martins and Chair of Arts, Design & Science at University of the Arts London. His current creative practice is based around the desire for collaboration between artists and scientists. Before producing the Canopy series of micrographs, Kesseler worked with botanists at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew to examine the artistic potential of microscopic images of plants. The British artist finds that interdisciplinary art, which exchanges different ideas and perspectives, reflects the modern era.
Kesseler's hand-colored micrographs of plants, for example, display scientific images normally viewed through a microscope as stunning works of fine art. Even though the subjects of these magnified photographs are largely unrecognizable—and even alien-like in their forms—their clarity, color, and pattern are undeniably mesmerizing. The images featured appear in his award-winning series of books on Pollen, Seeds, and Fruit, published by Papadakis.
Scroll down to see more colored micrographs of plants, and visit Kesseler's website to see his full portfolio.
Artist Rob Kesseler explores the intricacies of plant life in his hand-colored micrographs.
Acacia X veitchiana – Pollen grains. Magnification x 1500. Hand-colored micrograph.
These magnified images show pollen, seeds, and fruit up-close in stunning clarity.