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Microscopic Image of a Fly Series One: Copperplate Etchings © Maria Quintin

I am a Bristol-based artist and printmaker, a lover of science and learning, and a Christian. Having a keen interest in nature, I use my work as a way to learn more about the complexity of its design and like to share my findings with other people through my images.

I started my exploration into the microscopic world by looking at the simple house fly. I wanted to make people stop and look at an everyday animal in a way they would normally never think of and the beauty and intricacy of its creation.

Inspired by Darwin and Robert Hooke, these works also explore the idea of human discovery. It is estimated that there are 950,000 species of insect in the world, yet we only know of a fraction that actually exist. With over 10,000 new species of plants and animals being discovered every year, there are many species that we still do not know about and many areas of the world left unexplored.

I then began to take these microscopic shapes in their simplest forms. I used these to begin to investigate larger questions of identity, spirituality and what it means to be human. I then pushed my materials to turn micro into macro, inviting the viewer to fully immerse themselves in this microscopic world.

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Communication: Diptych of Synapses – Painting on Reclaimed Canvas © Maria Quintin

I feel like this idea of immersion and feeling tiny really feeds into the way I view the world and our place in the universe. In the grand scale of things, we’re such a tiny speck lost within this mass of space, time and matter. And yet, just as I have taken the time to really study these microscopic forms and turned them into something impactful, meaningful and something that has the potential to change the world and our society, I feel this reflects the way that God works in our lives – taking the time to really get to know us, make us, mould us and give us opportunities to make a difference. This is the kind of message I wanted to convey through this work.

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I am currently working on celebrating colour. This from an artistic point of view is very different that the scientific point of view and there is always a contrast between them. In art, colour is pigment dug up from the Earth. Black is as much a colour as white and yellow. To make black it is actually a mixture of all colours. In science, black is an absence of light and white is all colours.

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Understanding the way that our minds view colour in light form and then trying to convey this in pigment for has been a really interesting scientific journey for me. It seems amazing to me the way that the brain is wired to communicate such complex systems and convert them in a way that we can understand and process.

Colour also often has an emotional impact. I am currently trying to understand why and how different colours mean different things to us. I tend to begin a piece in black and white and then see the print and think, ‘This needs to be blue.’ or green, or orange, but it always has a certain colour that it should be. I find that really interesting.

I mainly create work for my own scientific and spiritual development and learning, but I always share my findings in the hope that it will inspire others or to make them think about the world around them and take a closer look at the wonders of nature’s creation.

DSC_0074Maria Quintin is a Bristol-based artist and printmaker. She uses simple natural forms as a way to investigate larger questions of identity, spirituality and what it means to be human.
Using shape, form and colour, she has been pushing materials and scale to experiment and contrast these themes, turning micro into macro as she invites the viewer to immerse themselves into a microscopic world.Website:
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @quintsprints