Miscellaneous Petri Dishes (+ The Potential of Paper)


8 Petri Dishes, Tracing Paper, Marker, Ink with Nibpen, Ink and Bleach, Table Salt, Vinegar, Eyeshadow, Colour Pencils, and lots more.

These are experiments, which successors would be implemented into my A2 coursework unit’s final piece (to be discussed in my next blog entry). In this unit my work revolves around “How The Visual Language of Science influences Artists”. In these experiments I was trying to figure out how it influences me as an artist. So I started off with choosing Petri Dishes as my “canvases” as they are often associated to science due to their uses in culturing microorganisms and viruses. Through the usage of diagrams/drawings, colours and text, I attempted to explain different aspects of different disciplines in science and also implementing my interpretation of the Visual Language of Science of how it should be orderly, categorised, straightforward and informative into the petri dishes.

This can be observed, for example in the green petri dish that portrays chlorophyll. The shades of green and yellow reflect the hue due to the ferrous ions in the molecule. The skeletal structure and its molecular formula are both portrayed onto an acrylic sheet that is to be slotted into the petri dish. In order to take further advantage of the transparent nature of petri dishes, a light box was implemented in the display of these pieces and effectively shows the interaction between the layers thus creating a sense of depth through light.

The other petri dishes’ portray the cross-sectional structure of a dicot leaf, sodium chloride, vinegar, chitin, sodium hypochlorate, the human skull and finally chlorophyll. The use of text can be seen in the NaCl petri dish, explaining what is being portrayed. I think it makes it more visually complex due to the overlaying of patterns of the text and the diagrams. The flip side is that using the marker on a rigid surface like a plastic sheet makes the words look rigid as it is incredible hard to control the tone and mood when writing onto it.

In my next post, I will discuss on how these petri dishes are improved and implemented into my final piece in my coursework unit – “The Visual Language of Science”. Meanwhile, I am very fortunate to have a guest artist’s permission to have his final piece of the same unit (but under a different title) to be mentioned on this blog.

The Potential of Paper by Guest Artist Zhuo-Ming Shia


“Inspired by the freedom of motion of birds, my installation shows a dramatic, tornado-like spiral of chaos dominating the space. From the confusion and disorientation, two birds break free at a tangent, bringing an order and a clear sense of direction into the installation. The fact that order and disorder are both depicted using the same material suggests a connection between these two opposites. My piece is a visual representation of the conceptual idea that order originates from disorder. Producing my installation made me think of this idea: Natural disasters cause destruction. However, is this nature’s way of maintaining a natural order and returning the Earth to its original un-artificial state?”

Now have a think of that. Pretty Deep huh? I’d like to thank ZMS to allow me to feature his artwork on my blog. Hopefully you’ll get to see his work in the form of buildings when he graduates as an architect in the future.

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