by Ariadna Zierold
Rogan Brown took four months to cut and build this “Outbreak” piece. It was inspired by a meeting with a group of microbiologists planning a new exhibition centre focusing on the Human Microbiome, that is the vast colony of bacteria that lives in and on our bodies.
Fascinated by this hidden world he spent months researching the strange shapes and forms of microbes and pathogens. He wanted to create a piece that examined our fears of the microbiological world, so out of one of the petri domes a group of bugs burst forth, full of ferocious uncontrolable energy.
The intensive work to cut, build and complete, is a meditation on the architecture of natural organic forms in which Rogan Brown strives to reproduce the growth mechanisms of nature: multiple layering, fractal repetition and immense accretion of detail.
He likes to think of these big hand cut pieces as “Time fossils”, that is the fossilized trace of all the time and labour that went in to them. Few other art forms foreground the time that was spent on their creation as well as paper sculpture, it is a significant aspect not merely of their value but their meaning; like medieval monks painstakingly embellishing holy texts in an act of adoration and prayer, he too pays hommage to the interplay of nature and the imagination in the long hours of creation.