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Curious: the Craft of Microscopy

A research project that involved residencies at the Science Museum, London and University College London, culminating in a hardback artist's book and exhibition at The Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons, London.

A collection of 19th century slides have been digitally photographed through microscopes dating from the late-18th century to the present day.

Curious uses the theme of microscopy as a vehicle to open up a wider debate on the effect of new technologies on craft, art and science.
The slide collection used was found in a second-hand shop, probably gathered by an amateur collector, covering much of the natural world in its subject matter. It consists of different collections, some made purely for aesthetic reasons and some for scientific and educational purposes.

The images form a narrative journey, documenting and utilising each stage of microscopy development. The images have not been manipulated and remain true to how the eye sees through each microscope. The project aims to demonstrate the way developments in technology have augmented shifts in the visual world, and also aims to play with ideas of temporality and the (dis)connections between history and ways of seeing.

The exhibition, supported by Arts Council England, the Royal Microscopical Society and the Science Museum, includes large-scale photographic prints and digital projections, alongside historical and modern devices used for viewing slides, from traditional microscopes through to scanning electron microscopy. The catalogue design was produced by my regular collaborator Joseph Harries.

The exhibition runs until July 2010 at the Hunterian Museum, London. The catalogues are for sale £2o plus postage and packaging, please email mail@susannaedwards.com