"Alien" - macro photo of a Cladonia Stellaris lichens with the raindrop in it, captured in the forest of Sweden,... Read More
"Alien" - macro photo of a Cladonia Stellaris lichens with
the raindrop in it, captured in the forest of Sweden, March 2021.
The photo is a part of the "ALIEN" collection, which is
dedicated to lichens and their wonderful qualities.
ABOUT THE "ALIEN"
I was born
and raised in Chukotka, in the Arctic. In my motherland lichens and mosses are
the main and sometimes the only representatives of local endemic. And these
particular Cladonia stellaris lichens are the main food source for the reindeer
that my native people, the Chukchi, breed. Reindeer are everything to the
Chukcha people: food, clothes, and shelter. Thus Lichens gave life to my
ancestors, and now these tiny organisms gave a new life to me as to an artist
"Alien" is a collection of macro photos of Cladonia
Stellaris lichens, captured in the forest of Huskvarna, Sweden, 2021.
Lichens, our otherworldly-looking neighbors on the planet Earth,
often stayed overlooked by the people. Meanwhile, they are wonderful! Their
patterns and otherworldly look, their impressive survival abilities, and the
intriguing story of their appearance make lichens worth to be learned!
Gorgeous and mystical lichens - who are they? I am trying to answer
this question in this "Alien" collection, speaking about specific
qualities of lichens and facts about them through photography.
WHAT ARE LICHENS?
Lichens are neither plant nor animal, they are organisms unlike any
other on Earth.
The lichen is an organism created by the symbiosis of the algae
cells and the fungus.
The algae produce food through photosynthesis, and the fungus
protects the algae and provides nutrients and water for their combined
The collaboration is so good, that allows lichens to survive where
many other organisms cannot, even in the open space!
ENDURE THE OPEN SPACE
In an experiment led by Leopoldo Sancho from the Complutense
University of Madrid, two species of lichen were sealed in a capsule and
launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket on 31 May 2005. Once in Earth orbit, the lid
of the capsule opened and the samples were exposed to the space environment for
nearly 15 days before the lid was resealed and the capsule returned to Earth.
This experiment adds weight to the theory of panspermia – that life
could somehow be transported between planets, perhaps by hitching a ride on an
asteroid. It also indicates that organisms similar to lichens might be able to
survive on the surface of Mars – at least during the planet’s summer.
ON THE BORDER WITH THE DREAMS
Being caught by the otherworldly and charming look of lichens, I was
often dreaming, that they came to us from another planet! And suddenly these
dreamy ideas about lichens as aliens, have a chance to come true!
Isn't it a moment when the border between the dream and reality is
Lichens don't have roots, they get their nutrition from the air.
Such ability let them settle even on the bare rocks of the Arctic, using rocks
for the fixation. In the course of their life, lichens corrode the colonized
substance and accumulate minerals and organic, creating the first soil for such
plants as mosses and grasses.
Such a sequence of life events made lichens have been supposed to be
one of the first eukaryotes which step out from the water to the land and
created more hospitable settings for vascular plants. For more than a
century scientists had a such point of view on the evolutional process.
But nowadays, another point of view starts to appear. In the
publications, dating from 2019 is written that the last research has shown that
lichens are younger and evolved with or after vascular plants. Here I
like to remember about their space journey and panspermia! Who knows…
But even if lichens are not the first who came out from the
water to the land, still these little oddly species are often the first who
settle on a bare stone to prepare the space for the next species. From this
side, they are still Aliens - the pioneers on new land! They are worth to be
ABOUT THE PRINT:
artwork is printed in a limited edition of 3, using Hahnemuehle fine art canvas and
archival pigment inks. Chosen materials provide age resistance to fading, deep
colours, and contrast of prints.
print is signed, numbered, and comes with the certificate.
The print can be sent stretched and ready to hang;
please let me know if you are interested.
Actual size on paper 18 x 24 cm -
edition of 25
Actual size on paper 30 x 40 cm - edition of 15
Actual size on paper 40 x 50 cm - edition of 15
Actual size on canvas 60 x 80 cm - edition of 3 ✅
Actual size on canvas 90 x 120 cm - edition of 1
Custom edition - 3 pcs, media, and size on