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2018 Cube Artist in Residence: Exploring QUT’s microscopy labs

A large part of our artist residency has been spent in the microscopy labs in the Science & Engineering building, learning how to use the electronic microscopes to capture the very fine details of plants that cannot be seen with the human eye.

Hippeastrum petal
Microscopic image revealing the round cells on the surface of the Hippeastrum flower petal.

The micro level opened up a whole new world of experiencing plants and nature – seeing another layer of patterns, colours, shapes and existence.

Cattleya orchid petal
Microscopic image revealing the round individual cells and textures on a Cattleya petal.

A flower petal can easily be taken for granted however under the microscope each individual round cell all clustered together is revealed, forming this beautiful petal. Or the pollen grains on a stamen, under the microscope it reveals each pollen grain to be an amazing sphere with beautiful patterns on its surface resembling a mythical deep sea creature or something from outer space. This exploration has extended our understanding of nature to a much deeper level.

Queen of the night flower stamen
A microscopic image from a section of the Epiphyllum phyllanthus (queen of the night) stigma revealing the fine hairs and grooves that help the round pollen grains attach itself to the surface.

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