Emma Brady

4th May 2016

Art & Science - A beautiful blend


Here at Peak we have always said art and science go hand in hand and by the look of these abstract petri dishes there is no doubt that this is the case. 

These ‘Microbe Masterpieces’ were created by microbiologists who were encouraged to submit a piece of art using bacterial or yeast colonies as paint, and agar (a gelatinous substance used to grow cultures) as a canvas.

To keep the contents of their petri dishes looking ‘artistic’, the scientists allowed bacteria to grow inside the dish for a few days at a stable temperature and then sealed the work with epoxy. By using epoxy they cut off the oxygen that aerobic bacteria need to grow, thus preserving the artwork.

petri micro

'Mircobe Masterpiece' - American Society for Microbiology/Mehmet Berkmen & Maria Penil from Massachusetts

The Microbe Masterpieces mentioned above were created by microbiologists but on the flip side of the coin, many artists apply the same scientific approach to their art. An excellent example of this is San Francisco painter Klari Reis. Her current painting project makes a case for the routine approach: For each day of 2013 she created a unique image, using a petri dish as her canvas, creating art that looks both like abstract painting and the results of a science experiment. 

petri 4

Klari Reis - Petri dish artwork 

Whether these projects be classed as art or science or even both, they have certainly been a topic for discussion.


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