From Andrew Frost…
Images taken using microscopes give us some sense of the nature of the unseen but even so, every new image of a fly’s eye or an ant’s head is an arresting encounter with the truly alien. Stephanie Valentin‘s Closer presents two sequences of images that transport the viewer into an eye-to eye encounter with insects, and into an even stranger zone of altered form.
Valentin’s Closer comes in two parts. The first is Lepidoptera a series of images of close up, microscopic shots of the heads, wings and bodies of butterflies and moths. The architecture of these bodies are extraordinary but where most images of insects have a slightly distant feel, Valentin prints her images at large size, completely transforming the viewer’s experience of relative scales. In the accompanying series Adaptation Valentin presents images where, using ion-beam technology, she has etched patterns and geometric shapes into insect corpses. Like the snake scale of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, human intervention even into the infinitesimal is now possible, no so much science fiction as fact.
Until October 25
Stills Gallery, Paddington
Pic: Stephanie Valentin, Adaptation 8, 2014, from Closer. Pigment print, 42×47.5cm.