Zone of Resistance Mixed Media 2016
Hosts and Invaders Watercolor 2016
Petri Dishes 1 Watercolor Collage 2011
Purple Vessel, Watercolor, 2023
Bacteriphage in Indigo and Black, Ink on Yupo, 2022
Beautiful But Deadly, Watercolor, 2022
Culture Dishes, Mixed Media, 2014
Blue Microbes, Watercolor, 2022
Variants, Watercolor, 2022
Red Coronavirus, Ink on Yupo, 2022
Slime Mold in Purple and Blue, 2023, Ink on Yupo
Michele Banks (Artologica) explains her own practice: “My work explores the world through the interplay of art and science. I create art—mostly painting—exploring themes from science and medicine, including images such as viruses, bacteria, and plant and animal cells. I’ve looked at how these organisms affect humans, and in turn how we affect them, through climate change, antibiotic use and other impacts on the earth. I like to paint science with watercolor because it can be transparent or translucent, allowing me to hint at what is happening beneath the surface. Watercolor also naturally flows into fractal patterns such as those seen in the nervous and circulatory systems, as well as in tree branches and river systems—in fact, everywhere in nature.
“Some of my earlier science-inspired pieces, like Portrait of a Human (2012), are watercolors that look at the basics of microbiology and cell biology, celebrating the hidden world around us and within us. Portrait of a Human is in fact a way to “flip” the idea of a portrait, which traditionally focuses on the external and the psychological, and here examines the internal and physical.”
Beyond the visual and structural elements, engaging with science through the prism of art lets Michele grapple with big, endlessly-opening topics, like what it means to be alive, to be human, and to belong in a natural and social environment.