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Artist Statement

I make watercolor and ink paintings that use scientific imagery and concepts to explore ideas of memory and connection. Looking at science through the prism of art allows me to engage deeply with ideas of what it means to be alive, to be human, and to belong in a natural and social environment.

Some of my paintings include images such as viruses, bacteria, and plant and animal cells. I consider how these organisms affect humans, and in turn how we affect them, through climate change, antibiotic use and other impacts on ourselves and our environment.

In my recent work, the vascular systems of plants (networks of vessels that transport water, minerals, nutrients, and signaling molecules throughout the plant body) provide a natural template for cooperation and growth. Of course, like any system, these exquisite networks can be disrupted by the actions of humans.

​I use water-based media to make my images transparent or translucent, to hint at what is happening beneath the surface.  Watercolor and ink naturally flow into fractal patterns such as those seen in the nervous and circulatory systems, tree branches, and river systems – in fact, everywhere in nature.


Michele Banks (aka Artologica) is a self-taught artist inspired by science. Her artwork, on themes ranging from neuroscience to the microbiome to climate change, been shown at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and at the Society for Neuroscience, as well as at many galleries and art festivals. Her paintings have been featured on the covers of journals and books and in publications including Scientific American, The Scientist and Wired. She lives in Washington, DC. 

Click here for my CV

Click here to see pictures of my cat.

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