Keeping in mind the references related to coral, bacteria, pathogens, diatoms, fungi etc…, Rogan Brown‘s latest works are a correlation of paper cut by hand and laser cutting to create an incredibly detailed and varied visual texture. Each microbiological motif is however completely fictive and imagined. He states, “It is this interplay between the imagination and the “real” world that fascinates me, reality is transformed and estranged through the creative process which paradoxically makes the finished work more real and unique.” Rogan’s unique pieces identify patterns and motifs that occur in the natural world in different contexts and at different scales, both macroscopic and microscopic. He has developed a formal, aesthetic vocabulary that he uses to construct hybrid sculptural forms, half real, half surreal.
“Control X,” featured above, presents a variety of microbiological organisms separated and contained inside an array of transparent domes. One of the domes has been breached and from it spills a swirling mass of bacteria. He states, “Public attitudes to science are strikingly bipolar, on the one hand we see it as the motor of human progress potentially solving all our problems and advancing and enhancing us as a species; on the other we see the terrible effects that science can wreak upon our world: nuclear and biological weapons, pollution, climate change, environmental devastation. This piece therefore contains a warning, that we have to beware our own hubris and perhaps accept that we can never be fully in control of nature, something always escapes us, exceeds us.”
Each piece in the “Magic Circle” series is unique; the same motifs are used but the composition is different every time. The aesthetic of repetition and variation is wherever we look in nature, and although the shapes and patterns are repeated there is always a nuance of difference resulting in incredible visual diversity. Rogan is constantly expanding and embellishing the range of motifs that he utilizes in his work, only limiting himself through each motif, although resembling something found in nature, must not simply copy or imitate it, each motif has to be a blend of observed reality and pure imagination. He states, “The reason for this is that by soliciting recognition and then withholding it I create a moment of rupture, of visual tension that forces the viewer to pause and become conscious of the act of looking. For me this moment of self-consciousness, of demanding “what am I looking at?”, is an essential aspect of the aesthetic experience, a moment of waking up and breaking out of habitual ways of seeing.”
via Rogan Brown