Curious: The craft of microscopy
16th February–3rd July 2010
Several years ago artist Susanna Edwards happened to come upon a collection of Victorian microscopic slides in a second-hand shop. She was intrigued by the creativity and dexterity involved in making these delicate objects.
Using eight microscopes dating back to the 18th century to photograph her slide collection, she has created a stunning series of images which show how technology has changed the way we see the world.
The exhibition includes large-scale photographic prints alongside the instruments used to make them, the oldest of which is a 1730s Culpeper microscope.
Susanna Edwards is an artist, designer and lecturer. She is known for her diverse and innovative approach to the teaching and practice of art, design and illustration, spanning traditional and digital approaches to problem-solving.
Her own work often originates from traditional hands on ways of working such as letterpress and printmaking, but crosses over into digital and other areas such as photography, typography, print and publishing, editorial, research, writing, film and fine art. Shifting between different media with an emphasis on creativity and play, Edwards provides refreshing alternative art, design, research and art direction at the forefront of contemporary visual communication.
Original glass microscope slides featured in the exhibition
Plant Sections (Ivory Slider) (1750-70)
Blood of Frog (1900)
Section of Trichinous Human Muscle (1890)
Skin of Synapta (Sponge spicules) (1880)
Scales of Sole (1880)
Insect From Egg (India) (1880)
Injected Foot of Salamander (1860)
Stem of Horsetail (post 1900)
Injected Cat Lung (1860)
Microscopes from the Science Museum collections used in the exhibition
Culpeper Microscope (1720-38)
Cuff Microscope (1750-60)
Drum Type Microscope (c.1825-50)
Compound Microscope by Pillischer (1855-60)
Monocular Microscope by Crouch (1880-90)
‘Royal’ Microscope by Watson (1937)
Binocular Microscope by Reichert (1960-65)
‘L-Ke’ Oufit with Nomarski Dic by Nikon (c.1972)
Axioskop 20 by Zeiss (1994)