THE INSECT PORTRAITS OF LEVON BISS
From the collections of Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
Microsculpture is a ground breaking exhibition by the British photographer Levon Biss that presents insect specimens from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History like never before. This series of beautifully-lit, high magnification portraits captures the microscopic form of insects in striking high-resolution detail. Displayed as large scale photographic prints up to 3m high, Microsculpture provides the viewer with an unique opportunity to study and appreciate this beautiful, hidden world.
Open daily, free entry
29 June - 15 September - 10:00 to 17:30
About the exhibition
Microsculpture shows specimens from the collection of the Museum of Natural History in Oxford like never before, in large-format and exquisitely-lit detail.
The specimens on show reveal the array of sculptural forms visible in insects at the microscopic level. Visitors can view the intricate shapes, colours and microsculpture of the creatures up close in the pin-sharp photographs, before stepping back to take in the beauty of the insect as a whole.
Each picture in Microsculpture is created from around 8,000 individual photographs. Segments of the specimen are lit and photographed separately, ‘stacked’ to maintain sharp focus throughout, then combined into a single high-resolution file.
“I photograph the insect in approximately 30 different sections, depending on the size of the specimen. Each section is lit differently with strobe lights to bring out the micro-sculptural beauty of that particular section of the body. For example, I will light and shoot just one antenna, then I will move on to the eye and the lighting set up will change entirely to suit the texture and contours of that part of the body. This process continues until I have covered the whole surface area of the insect.” – Levon Biss
Combining art with science, the exhibition also provides information about each creature in the show, where possible discussing the evolutionary adaptations that have given rise to its particular microsculpture form.
To watch a short video about the making of the project, visit www.microsculpture.net
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