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UAL Research Online

Pollen, the Hidden Sexuality of Flowers

Kesseler, Rob and Harley, Madeline (2004) Pollen, the Hidden Sexuality of Flowers. Papadakis, London. ISBN 1901092674

Type of Research: Book
Creators: Kesseler, Rob and Harley, Madeline

Pollen was produced during my Fellowship at The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in partnership with botanist Dr. Madeline Harley FLS. Extending the tradition of collaboration between artists and scientists in examining and portraying plants, the book provides new scientific insight into the plant world by fusing Harley’s original scientific text with my photographic images produced using high-powered scanning electron microscopes.

The evolution of microphotography during the 19th century effectively eliminated opportunity for any artistic interpretation as the images became locked within the scientific community, until recent digital technologies became a shared language. The powerful images of pollen specially created for the book are the result of extended research into electron micrography used in conjunction with digital imaging software. The complex forms appear to lie somewhere between science and symbolism, becoming mesmeric visual icons which draw the viewer in to a hidden world.

Unlike all other works on the subject that are solely aimed at a scientific audience, Pollen uniquely targets a wider audience by revealing the complex forms and structures of pollen and the role it plays within the life cycle of plants. A feature of the collaboration was that the work should be of the highest order and meet with peer approval in both disciplines.

Official Website: http://www.papadakis.net/live/index.php?main_page=pubs_product_book_jph1_info&cPath=13&products_id=79
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Rob Kesseler

Research Interests

Representation of nature within contemporary culture. Arts and craft movement, modernism, post modernism. Ceramic Art & Design. Electron microscopy, ceramics, NESTA, Kew Gardens, Pollen, Seeds

Current Research

My practice inhabits a territory where Design, Fine Art and Applied Art overlap and explores the interrelationship between the Arts and Sciences, in particular the natural world, for which I was recently awarded a three year fellowship from NESTA to work with microscopic plant material in the herbarium at Kew. This has resulted in a diverse range of projects: installations, public art and landscaping commissions, works in ceramic, glass and textiles, and digital photography. I recently published two major books in collaboration with botanical scientists at Kew, Pollen The Hidden Sexuality of Flowers and Seeds, Time Capsules of Life, which in which original micrographs were digitally remastered in colour to reveal mesmeric structures that lie somewhere between science and symbolism. Current projects include Hortus in Vitro,an architectural glass commission for the Botanic Garden in Oxford University, a design collaboration with Royal Crown Derby China and a third book in collaboration with Kew on Fruit. In 2006 I was elected as a Fellow of the Linnaean Society for my work in the field of visualising plant science. Additionally I am a board member of the Atoms to Art research network in Ceramic & Glass, and also a member of AIR the Artists Advisory Group for a-n magazine.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Papadakis
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 2004
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 12:34
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 04:45
Item ID: 890
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/890

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