In a Time of Change
Rust Spores and Hyphae is an observational piece inspired by the microscopic happenings on the leaf of a wild rose bush. Throughout the course of this project I have been curious about the microbial worlds that flourish in association with the boreal forest flora. Trees, ground cover, leaves, and lichen are often the subjects of my art, so it felt natural to explore these subjects at the cellular level. Each summer I notice many of the wild rose bushes in the woods around my house develop masses of bright orange powdery spores, uredinia, on the stems, leaves, and rose hips. I took samples of these powdery spores and made both dry and wet mount slides to view under the microscope. The microscopic imagery was so rich. The lines and tangles of the glasslike strands of hyphae and clusters of orange spores were so full of action and beauty. Knowing what I was viewing added to the wonderment and informed the final piece.