About the Art

I find it extremely motivating and rewarding to combine my passion for photography, science and nature together with my creative skill and imagination to capture the beautiful aesthetics of the hidden world in a way that is both visually stunning end educationally informative. This combination is collectively known as Science Art.

I have spent the years perfecting my photographic and microscopy skills as well as meticulously compiling a detailed recipe book of my ingredients and preparation techniques, observations and tips in order to achieve the results that you see here. The chemicals are prepared in the laboratory through trial and error, hunting out chemical mixtures and mixing ratios among other factors with the aim of finding truly photogenic results. It is an everyday ongoing process that I find really rewarding and motivating because when you find a mixture that produces stunning results, you are blown away by the self-assembled crystallographic formations and the vibrant colours, and textured patterns and that you are the first person to ever see these. This is what makes the art very unique.

However, although a meticulous recipe book is maintained, it is not always possible to reproduce a certain mixture. This is because the chemicals and crystallisation process is a complex system, meaning that there are numerous variables that are out of my control such as temperature, humidity, etc. On the plus side, sometimes you might expect to achieve similar results to what you have made before but the actual results can be very surprising indeed.

What you see are basically, 'chemical stains' where a chemical is allowed to dry on a surface or crystallize around seed points upon evaporation of it’s solvent. Frequently, the crystallographic formations can take on botanical-like appearances such as the branching networks in plants, trees and their frondescence. We can see how natures mathematical laws are at work in different facets and scales of our world, from to mountain ranges, to river estuaries, bacterial communities, life’s vascular systems, crystal formations and countless other examples.

One of my aims in producing these art works is for the viewer to ask questions about what it is that they are looking at. To ignite a spark of curiosity for natures majestic creations and her intricate workings and to develop an appreciation for the languages and tools of mathematics, physics and chemistry which we use to decipher her (nature’s) creations. The more people that develop an appreciation and perhaps a career in science, the more likely we are to see a quicker change in conservation and protection of our precious blue marble, our only home in the cosmic void. In developing a deeper understanding of nature, the more you can appreciate the imagery and the physical processes involved in making them.

The imagery provides a glimpse into the hidden world of nature where the invisible is made visible. The colours contained in the imagery below are not artificially applied nor are they digitally enhanced. The colours, pattern and textures that you see in the pictures reflect the complexity of the crystal lattices whilst the colour palettes arise because of numerous characteristics of the sample material including the atoms/molecules from which it is made, how they are bound together, the patterns that they take, whether the lattice exhibits birefringence, the thickness of the sample, it’s topography and how the light passes through it.

Giclee Prints & Framed Pictures

My art is available as Giclee prints (limited edition, high quality, fine art print), which are signed and numbered. The images below intend to give an idea of how the prints might look when framed. You can see actual framed examples towards the bottom of the page from a recent exhibition.

Each print comes with a caption ready to be displayed alongside the picture. The captions are made on foamex which can be mounted beside the picture. The cost of the 48.80 cm x 60.00 cm (18.90" x 23.62") prints below are €120 + €12.50 (Post) whilst the cost of the framed pictures are €275 each. For smaller or larger sizes, please contact me through the contact form. For commissions, please contact me.

Title: "Sunlit Plants"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 3.

Available Sizes
Title: "Moonlit Plants"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 3.

Available Sizes
Title: "Red Rose"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

The carnation-like flower is a mixture of iron, aluminium, ammonium and potassium sulphates dissolved in water and imaged in polarised light. The solution was smeared on a glass slide and heated on a hot plate. The centre of the flower is a seed, probably a grain of dust or some impurity in the mixture from which it grows radially from. When under the application of heat, the film grows slowly resulting in intricate floral details. When the heat source is removed the crystal film grows at a quicker rate giving rise to the large petals.

Available Sizes
Title: "---"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Title: "Translucent Tree"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

The anti-inflammatory drug, Salicin.

Title: "Frosty Moonlit Night"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

The anti-inflammatory drug, Salicin.

Title: "Puya chilensis Bromeliad"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

The anti-inflammatory drug, Salicin.

Title: "Desert Bromeliad"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

The anti-inflammatory drug, Salicin.

Title: "Garden Plants"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Histological chemical, potassium hexacyanoferrate.

Title: "Flower Compositae"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Histological chemical, potassium hexacyanoferrate.

Title: "Ocean Reef"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

The anti-inflammatory drug, Salicin.

Title: "Underwater Reef"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

The anti-inflammatory drug, Salicin.

Title: "Succulent Cactus Flowers"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Title: "Phototropic Plants"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Title: "Lonely Desert Flower"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Title: "Desert Cactus Flowers"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Title: "Botanical Kingdom"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Title: "Heavenly Ascent"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Title: "Botanical Symmetry"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Title: "Exquisite Beauty"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Title: "Flower Compositae"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Histological chemical, potassium hexacyanoferrate.

Title: "Sucrose Bubble Raft"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 15.

In a race to minimise energy and reach an energetically favoured state of equilibrium, a tug-of-war ensues between many thousands of trapped air pockets and the compressing effects of the surrounding viscous liquid. A bubble is a balancing act of forces that occur between it's internal air pressure pushing outward on its membrane and the compressive forces of the surrounding liquid trying to crush it inwards. As a result, the molecular field density and thus the optical path length surrounding the air pockets will be significantly distorted. This effect can be seen by the vivid coloured bands immediately surrounding the bubble aggregations.

Title: "Monosodium Glutamate - Air Cavties Large and Small"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 2 of 7.

Three coexisting phases of matter form layers in this image. A solid crystalline base layer has cracked as it undergoes cooling. Crystals can be seen growing from random seeding points. We can infer that the cooling of the crystal decreses the volume and increases its density and internal energy which is then disspated along lines of weaknesses. The layer resting above is hot molten msg with numerous small air pockets cocooned within a larger bubble.

Title: "Self Organisation in Ammonium Nitrate"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 3.

A close-up of a dewetting pattern left by a solution of ammonium nitrate. The pattern consists of a network of filaments, the filaments being the coalescence of ammonium nitrate crystals caused by the nucleation and growth of randomly formed evaporation sites. The process began with a continuous film of ammonium nitrate and solvent.

Title: "Creatine - Diffusion Limited Aggregation"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 15.

A close-up of Creatine magnified approximately 150 times. Initially, forming a heterogenous mixture, minute crystals of creatine were suspended in a solvent of water. The crystals, jittering about in the molecular storm of Brownian motion, undergo random walks, colliding and adhering to other crystals. Over time, these clusters increase in size, eventually forming the branched fractal structure seen here, called a Brownian Tree. This self-assembly process is called diffusion-limited-aggregation (DLA). The colours in the image are a result of thin film interference. Residual water fills the spaces between the branches. Surface tension causes the top surface of the water to form a meniscus along the branches. As such, close to the branches there is a sudden change in thickness of the fluid film which leads to a change in the wavelength (colour). Regions of the same colour correspond to equal film thickness.

Title: "Opposing Spirals"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

The image brings to mind a spinning vortex system frozen in time.

Title: "Ice Cathedral"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Reminiscent of scenes from Antarctica, this is a spontaneous crystalline thin film chemical formation.

Title: "Decoupage Art - Eddies"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Title: "Floral Display"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Floral-like abstract art made from amino acids.

Title: "Floral Vines"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Floral-like abstract art made from amino acids.

Title: "Hummingbird"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Do you see what I see? I see what look like feathers arranged in a pattern that resembles a hummingbird sipping from a flower. This is a thin film of Potassium Hexacyanoferrate (III).

Title: "Organic Tessellation"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 5.

This is the crystal film formed when a skin cream is smeared out on a cool surface and allowed to dry at room temperature. There are two stages of crystallisation states for this chemical compound, with this being the first stage. The colour is a result of a property of the material called birefringence and other factors including the orientation of the molecules constituting the crystal and the optical path length through the crystal.

Title: "MultiDimensionalTree"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 3.

Title: "Autumn Woodland"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 3.

Title: "Autumn Plant"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 3.

Title: "Autumn Blossoms"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

What gives the flower petals their colour? Blue skies and multicoloured flower. The magenta coloured petals fade to golden hues of yellows in this Autumn scene. The crystalline film was made from a mixture of Ferrous Sulphate Pentahydrate and Potassium Hexacyanoferrate (III).

Title: "Autumn Come and Gone"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

It's Autumn in Northern Europe and the Sun’s radiance incident on the forest canopy is declining. The photosynthetic machinery within the trees foliage begins to break down and disintegrate, transforming into various shades of yellows, oranges and browns. Over time, they drop away from their parent trees and scatter the forest floor below. However, looks can be deceptive. These structures are not botanical in nature, but are crystallized organic compounds imaged under a microscope.

Title: "Psychedlics for Eskimo's"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 3.

Radiating from a central seed point, the contours of the topography of the crystal film follows a ripple-like pattern. Areas of the same colour..... The perpendicular bars that cut through the image are caused by the axial rotation of the molecules which filters the polarised light. ***** changing The symmetrically radial variation of the thickness of the film A close-up of Creatine magnified approximately 150 times. Initially, forming a heterogenous mixture, minute crystals of creatine were suspended in a solvent of water. The crystals, jittering about in the molecular storm of Brownian motion, undergo random walks, colliding and adhering to other crystals. Over time, these clusters increase in size, eventually forming the branched fractal structure seen here, called a Brownian Tree. This self-assembly process is called diffusion-limited-aggregation (DLA). The colours in the image are a result of thin film interference. Residual water fills the spaces between the branches. Surface tension causes the top surface of the water to form a meniscus along the branches. As such, close to the branches there is a sudden change in thickness of the fluid film which leads to a change in the wavelength (colour). Regions of the same colour correspond to equal film thickness.

Title: "Autumn Dusk"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 3.

Title: ">Winter Tree Light"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

Silhouetted against the green background glow of an alien sky on a frosty night.

Title: "The Majestic Tree of Life"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

This image to me resembles part of the branching network of the Linneaus Tree of Life. The branching network is used to classify all species of life. In the eighteenth century, naturalists believed that these groups were a glimpse at the divine order of the world. If they could discover a way to classify all species, they would, in effect, be reading the Book of Nature, written by God. Contrary to most peoples thinking, Darwin was not the first to classify species in the tree of life. It was the achievement of Linneaus in figuring out this system. At the time, botanists realised that plants reproduce through a sexual process contained in their flowers. The male organs, the stamens, are where pollen grains are produced, and these pollen grains fertilize the pistils, the female organs. Since reproduction was central to life, Linnaeus used the number and size of stamens and pistils to organize species into larger groups, called genera. The genera would go into orders, and the orders into classes, and the classes would all go into the plant kingdom.

Title: "Nocturnal Flowers"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 7.

It’s night time in a shadow world of other wonders. The plants of the rain forest are lit by a full moon. Fireflies, attracted by aromatic molecules oozing out from specialised scent glands called osmophores on some types of flowers, swarm around them in a dance. The tropical forest is a labyrinth of fauna and flora species that all have a role to play in a highly interconnected and complex web of life. This image was created from a mixture of agricultural fertilizers and compounds used in the cosmetics industry.

Title: "Cosmic Flower"

47.50 x 34.50cm

Signed 1 of 6.

Irish Montbretia

Signed 1 of 7.

Climbing Vines

Signed 1 of 3.

Tessellated Vines

This is the crystallisation of a popular skin cream. Print measures 94.87 cm x 154.01 cm, 37.35" x 60.63".

Climbing Woody Veranera Vine

Signed 1 of 3.

Climbing Woody Vine

Signed 1 of 7.

2019 Forest Fires
Amazonian Wild Fires

Signed 1 of 7.

This picture is one in a series of images I took which I think strikingly resembles a scene in which a cluster of exotic palms and ferns are engulfed in flames. All life on Earth is comprised of cells. Cells are complex biochemical systems. At the heart of the cell is the nuclear complex which has locked within it the genome. Through the process of translation by ribosomes, amino acids are synthesized which later fold into functional proteins. Amino acids are the building blocks of living systems. This image captures the complex and organic like crystal structures that form from a combination of amino acids mixed in a specific ratio. The colours are derived from the interaction of compensated plane polarised light with the crystal.

Australian Forest Fires

Signed 1 of 7.

Captures here is the complex and organic-like crystal structures that form from a combination of amino acids. The colours are derived from the interaction of compensated plane polarised light with the crystal, and brings to mind exotic palms and ferns being scorched in the recent Australian wild fires.

Soap
Cosmicscape - 1

Signed 1 of 7.

Cosmicscape - 2.jpg

Signed 1 of 7.

Monster Blackhole

Signed 1 of 7.

Feasty Lunch

Signed 1 of 7.

COVID-19.jpg

Signed 1 of 7.

Reciprocal Space

Signed 1 of 7.

Flow Visualisation

Signed 1 of 7.

The Invisible made Visible

Signed 1 of 15.

Fluid dynamics is the branch of physics describing the flow of liquids. The movement of liquid can be categorised as laminar or turbulent and the magnitude of that flow can be quantified by the Reynolds number. In this case, the fluid flowing around, and in the wake of the air bubbles is smooth and laminar. This of course makes sense because the fluid here is a viscous ‘gloup’ of molten sucrose or table sugar and the bubbles move relatively slowly through it. Otherwise invisible, the flow is made visible here through a technique called differential interference contrast.

Fractals in Amino Acids

Prints are to a high standard and made on fine art rag heavy weight paper. When framed, the prints are presented floating in a high quality box frame as you can see in the above image. Signed and numbered 1 of 15.

Fractals in Amino Acids

Signed and numbered 1 of 10.

Lotus Flower

Resembling a lotus flower, this is a close-up of vitamin B3. 100 cm x 100 cm print.

Crystalline Tendrils

Signed 1 of 7.

Self-organisation of vitamin b3 (nicotinic acid) crystals into What gives the flower petals their colour? Blue skies and multicoloured flower. The magenta coloured petals fade to golden hues of yellows in this Autumn scene. The crystalline film was made from a mixture of Ferrous Sulphate Pentahydrate and Potassium Hexacyanoferrate (III).

Billowing Clouds

Signed 1 of 7.

Primary and secondary crystallisation stages of vitamin b3 (nicotinic acid).