I was born and raised in Chukotka, in the Arctic. In my motherland lichens and mosses are the main and... Read More
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 :)))
"INSIDE THE DROP" is a macro photo of Cladonia Stellaris lichens, captured in the forest of Sweden in 2021.
Can you see the face of an animal inside the drop? I didn't create it, but I was lucky to capture this moment, when the mesmerizing game of reflections inside the raindrop turned into this image. This is what I adore in photography: capturing a magical moment that gives a feeling of a silent dialogue with nature in the visual language, when nature tells me its tales and stories, which I can capture to share with others.
And this photo story is about Lichens!
Lichens have a special role and impact on the ecosystem. But they are so small and often remain overlooked by people. But I find them amazing: their fractal patterns are stunning, and the stories and facts about them make me wonder. When I study lichens through the macro lens of the camera, I have a surrealistic feeling of a blurring line between the dream and the reality!
I think they deserve to be known!
Lichens are neither plants nor animals, but an organism that emerges from a symbiosis of algae and fungus! And this collaboration is so powerful that lichens can survive where others cannot. Having no roots and taking nutrients from the air, lichens can settle on bare rocks and start to prepare soil for the next ones. After them, mosses and grass can grow, and then the next more complex organism… This is what this photo reflects for me — lichens hold a drop of life's essence.
The photo is a part of the "ALIEN" collection, which is dedicated to lichens and their wonderful qualities.
ABOUT THE PRINT:
The 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.
Each print is signed, numbered, and comes with a certificate.
The print can be sent stretched and ready to hang; please let me know if you are interested.
Editions and sizes:
Actual size with the signature 24 x 18 cm - edition of 25
Actual size with the signature 40 x 30 cm - edition of 15
Actual size with the signature 50 x 40 cm - edition of 15
Actual size with the signature 80 x 60 cm - edition of 3 ✅
Actual size with the signature 120 x 90 cm - edition of 1
Custom edition - 2 pcs, media, and size on request
Special edition for the Arte Laguna Prize Exhibition - dibond print 100x80cm - belongs to the Cultural Association MoCA.
MORE ABOUT THE "ALIEN" COLLECTION:
"Alien" is a collection of macro photos of Cladonia
Stellaris lichens, captured in the forest of Huskvarna, Sweden, 2021.
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!
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?
are neither plant nor animal, they are organisms unlike any other on Earth.
lichen is an organism created by the symbiosis of the algae cells and the
algae produce food through photosynthesis, and the fungus protects the algae
and provides nutrients and water for their combined survival.
collaboration is so good, that allows lichens to survive where many other
organisms cannot, even in the open space!
ENDURE THE OPEN SPACE
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. Lichens survived!
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
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!
it a moment when the border between the dream and reality is varnishing?
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.
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.
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