Ben Dobson
Artist Image on Item View

science art
Ben Dobson
Arachnoidiscus japonicus, 4000nm

Ben is an award winning artist who has fallen in love with the beauty that lies within, invisible except through the microscope. "I explore texture, colour, perspective, light, shade and translucency using mineral, vegetable and animal matter prepared with skill for the microscope and camera," he says. "Most of my pieces first involve preparation of a slide, which can take can take several days of technical work involving staining and lab equipment. Microscopes have a very limited focus depth and small field of view. I create compositions by taking hundreds or thousands of photographs together with focus stacking and stitching, both algorithmic and manual." One of Ben's pieces took over 300 hours to create, involved 4,000 individually taken photographs; most take 30 to 60 hours. "I wish to share the hidden world of crystals, insects, spiders and single-celled algae as it may persuade a few more people that the world is worth saving. I want to take the viewer on an emotional journey, to a place where ants can exist amongst the stars and single-celled algae become mandalas. I also like to challenge preconceptions of beauty. Spiders can be beautiful. Perhaps one of the most exciting times so far in my career was to help co-organise the SciArt Exhibition at Cavendish at the world-renowned Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge. In addition to myself, over 20 international artists exhibited and I organised an evening of talks by the artists to the public. It was a very invigorating experience and led to the BBC making a short film about me and my creation process. The beauty in this world is more intense in tiny places." He received first prize in The Chromatic Award 2018 for his Sparks and Stripes abstract print.

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