AmericaConceptBiomorphic structures by Ela Kurowska

As a photographer and biochemist, I am fascinated by the origins of life – that moment in Earth’s history when amorphous organic matter transformed into complex structures that evolved into living organisms.
18523 min

As a photographer and biochemist, I am fascinated by the origins of life – that moment in Earth’s history when amorphous organic matter transformed into complex structures that evolved into living organisms.

The idea for this project came from my personal revelation that by combining photography with science I can attempt to mimic and visualize the process of life creation using photoelastic gels and cross-polarized light. I build small biomorphic structures from translucent organic gels and manipulate them to develop material stress. Then I examine the compositions through polarizer filters and experiment with lighting and camera angle to capture them in their full glory. The resulting images reveal beautiful worlds inhabited by otherworldly life made of light and colors and emerging from dark space. Removed from the context of scale, the photographs depict the awe-inspiring, universal vitality of life. [Official Website]

I started a photo-based art project “Light Forms” after stumbling across an old, long forgotten visualization technique from the field of material science. This technique utilizes polarized light to visualize stresses in solid, transparent materials subjected to deformations. Very quickly I realized that modifying this approach to employ organic gels – a softer and more malleable material – presented me with a medium of an enormous artistic potential. Using my biochemistry lab skills, I started experimenting.

This conceptual transformation is realized through the gels’ conversion from liquid to solid that is physically influenced by steps such as heating, molding, arranging, sculpting, or stressing. The otherworldly colors and light effects of the images are achieved by the use of polarizer filters.



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