Artist's intricate papercuts connect corals with human microbiome

Rogan Brown
© Rogan Brown

We know that the world's coral reefs are in big trouble, thanks to deforestation, ocean acidification and even the chemicals in sunscreen.

But sometimes these stunning wonders of nature seem far removed from us, as if they belong to an alien world. American artist Rogan Brown (previously) attempts to connect us directly to the world of the corals by linking them to our microbiome -- the microscopic world of organisms that live inside our gut -- with intricate works of paper art. He says:

What the reef and the microbiome have in common is that they both consist of biodiverse colonies of organisms that coexist more or less harmoniously. There are further parallels between coral and human beings in that we are both symbiont organisms, that is we depend on a mutually beneficial relationship with another species: coral only receive their beautiful colors from varieties of algae that live on them and human beings can only exist thanks to the unimaginably huge and diverse number of bacteria that live in and on them.
Rogan Brown© Rogan Brown

Rogan Brown© Rogan Brown

Rogan Brown© Rogan Brown

That's a beautiful thing to think about, and Brown captures this wonderful, variegated quality in his intricately cut works, which are delicately layered over and over to produce this sense of living complexity. As Brown notes, his work "plays with the architecture of nature and organic growth" -- a force that underlies all life, including that of human life.

Rogan Brown© Rogan Brown

Rogan either laser-cuts or painstakingly hand-cuts paper components with a scalpel knife, meaning that some of his larger works can take months to complete. "The slow act of cutting repeat[s] the long time-based processes that dominate nature: growth, decay and re-growth," says Rogan.

Rogan Brown© Rogan Brown

Rogan Brown© Rogan Brown

Rogan Brown© Rogan Brown

Rogan's thoughtful environmental artworks highlight the need for art to as a tool to help mediate between our collective sense of self and its inherent connection with nature. By connecting the microbiome of our (literal) inner being to the vast world out there, we come to the realization that nature is a part of us, and we are a part of nature, and that destroying it would mean destroying ourselves. To see more, visit Rogan Brown and on Instagram.

[Via: This Is Colossal]

Artist's intricate papercuts connect corals with human microbiome
Corals might seem like they are from another world, but these delicate artworks make a link between them and the micro-organisms living inside us.

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