Despite their usefulness and educational value in helping us identify various animal and plant species, nature field guides can be a bit technical and dry. In a twist on these traditional but handy guidebooks, artist Travis Bedel, also known as Bedelgeuse, transforms these specialized scientific illustrations into thought-provoking works of collage art, creating new fantastical landscapes and creatures of symbolic significance.
Using glue and razor blades, Bedel cuts out images from vintage etchings, textbooks and field guides and re-combines them into "an amalgamation of anatomical, botanical, and zoology." His pieces range from 5 inches to an impressive 6 feet tall.
Some of Bedel's pieces are completely made by hand, while others are digitally composited (useful when an image needs to be repeated over and over). What is interesting overall is a consistent alchemical merging of the technical with the imaginative, revealing vibrantly surreal images that speak to the subconscious.
The work here seems to reveal an interchangeability of forms between human, animal and plant, speaking to that invisible but ever-present connection between all things.
Richly detailed in a scientific and symbolic sense, these poetic works seem like another kind of field guide, but for the human imagination. More over at Travis Bedel's Tumblr, Etsy shop and Society6 sites.