The microscopic bio-art of Linden Gledhill

The microscopic bio-art of Linden Gledhill

Science makes fascinating art under a microscope

The biochemist/artist Linden Gledhill creates extraordinary artwork with microscopic photographs of chemical reactions, crystalized substances and detailed surfaces, among other unbeliebably amazing imagery that expose the beauty of the world around us.

Gledhill art takes the common world to an abstracted level of perception that breakes the sense of reality from the object itself. You ain't watching insects, soap or food anymore, it changes them to otherworldly images with unexpected colors that captivate the eye.

He accomplishes these outstanding photos by fussioning his vast compedium of ideas collected from observating the microscopic world and a dense set of equipment and rigging at his home in Pennsylvania, from which he can capture gigapixel images that can be printed to any size.

Photomicrography workstation. Based on an Olympus BH-2 stand modified with "StackShot" controller and high speed flash.

Up to date he has a wide variety of projects with other artists and designers resulting in promotional art work, advertisement campaigns that include stop motion visuals of the wonders of nature.

Gledhill worked in collaboration with designer and art director Craig Ward for the microscopic visuals of Jon Hopkins' 'Immunity' album art. The images and video were created using microscopic chemical reactions. Splashes and shards of crystalized color and foaming forms wash across the screen or appear frozen in an image. The beautiful colors are heightened further by putting them through a spectral microscope and time-lapsing the footage. Check out the video at the bottom about the project.

Ward and Gledhill also teamed up for the music video of 'Cascades' by Ryan Teague, this time capturing the beauty of snowflakes in stop motion. Using electromagnetic fields, sub-zero temperatures and 2,000 volts of electricity, the video features close-ups of tiny ice crystals forming in thin air. It took months of planning and was shot over four days in the basement of Gledhill, where he built all the set up for the snowflakes and ice needles to form, reaching growth rates of mm per minute. This is the final video:

The soap film exploration of Linden is extraordinary. The images look like abstract paintings and the colors are striking. Some of the soap films were mixed with an ion wind.

The liquid crystal DNA imagery took part of a branding project for the none profit Autism Speaks which will sequence the genome of 10,000 families. You can buy prints of the amazing pictures to support the cause on MSS. The images show some of transition phases the DNA goes through as it becomes more concentrated and more ordered.

Linden's Cymatics images of sound waves on the surface of water evoke spirograph pictures from old days.

Butterflies wings turn into fantastic landscapes when seen from a microscope. Linden took a series of images to study the structure of butterfly and moth wings. To increase DOF multiple images are combined using focus stacking.

"I believe science in itself is an art, so I view the world as a scientist but also from the perception of art. Everywhere I look there's beauty and that includes all scales, from the microscopic up to the universe that I can view through a telescope. To me is all one continuum of art." - Linden Gledhill 

Linden is always looking to collaborate on creative projects which can utilize his scientific expertise, so call this amazing bio-artist if you think of something.

See more of Linden Gledhill's art in the gallery below and check out more of his work on Flickr and his website.

Published on: April 2016