Rich visual parallels between Indigenous artworks and microscopic natural structures hidden in the world around us reveal unexpected and intriguing similarities that can deepen our respect for our country and its stories.
A new touring exhibition in Sydney, bringing microscopy and Indigenous art together, explores these images, which pass on knowledge and shape our understanding of the world. Their resonances derive from the similar perspectives of the imagery, and symmetries hidden in nature.
The microscopic images (known as micrographs) were captured on transmission electron microscopes, which create enlarged projections of a thin, sample slice and reveal a flat, top-down image, similar to many of the artworks. Another similarity comes from the natural forms and patterns found at the microscopic, landscape and cosmic scale.
In Indigenous cultures, stories shared and held in paintings record how the land and creatures were created, how they function together and how people relate to them.