Wednesday, December 29, 2010
While looking up images for my previous insect related post, I came across the work of Cornelia Hesse-Honegger. She worked as a Scientific Illustrator at the Natural History Museum at the University of Zurich for 25 years. She began collecting and painting Leaf Bugs (Heteroptera) in 1969, and after the Chernobyl incident began recording the damage that nuclear radiation was having on these insects.She has since then studied and painted insects near functioning nuclear power stations in Europe and the U.S. and concluded that even low levels of radiation are enough to cause morphologically disturbed insects.Heteroptera (2001)and Future's Mirror (1999) are books of illustrations and essays highlighting the physiological effects of radiation. In her biography Hesse-Honegger points out the lack of published findings on these effects and implores independent scientific study in this field.She has also published a book of her images on Silk. She began designing fabric for Swiss fashion houses Akris and Fabric Frontline. I can just imagine that the medium of silk would lend itself so perfectly to her lush images. Even in photograph the richness of colour makes my heart beat a little faster.