Rogan Brown and the Art of Science
Posted in In the Studio by Rise Art on 16th June 2020
Rogan Brown is a contemporary artist who is redefining the world of sculpture. Eschewing traditional materials such as stone and metal in favour of fragile paper, he creates sculptures that explore the natural world and science with fresh eyes. These artworks place organic forms under the microscope, magnifying them and distorting them to present new perspectives. Get to know his work for yourself and look at our selection of Rogan Brown sculptures, or branch out and discover the wider range of Sculptures that you could add to your collection.
About the Artist
Rogan is a British artist who now lives and works in France. He was trained in London, where he studied a BA at Goldsmiths’ college and an MA at Queen Mary. He cites all forms of science as a source of inspiration for his work, from the most minute physical entities such as quarks and quantum energy fields all the way up to biological structures and ecosystems. In this way, he offers an insight into science through the eyes of a non-scientist. These ideas have earned him international acclaim and exhibitions across the globe, from the Eden Project in Cornwall to a festival exhibition in Shanghai.
At first sight it’s hard to imagine how Rogan Brown’s art might be created. These unbelievably complex and intricate sculptures look like creations of mother nature rather than manmade entities. Each and every sculpture has been painstakingly dissected from sheet after sheet of paper, using a scalpel knife with a scientific precision. These pieces are then hand mounted to form three dimensional structures. The repetitive and time-consuming nature of this process mirrors the cycles that are seen throughout nature, adding a certain poetry to the artist’s method. At times, he also uses a laser cutting technique, which can push the materials and artwork to new and exciting limits.
Paper as Material
Paper might seem a strange choice for a sculptor, given its fragility and ephemeral nature when compared to more durable materials such as marble or copper. But it is precisely these qualities that make paper the perfect material for Rogan Brown’s artwork. Paper becomes an embodiment of nature, representing the paradoxes of fragility and durability, strength and delicacy that we see throughout the natural world. The intricate appearance of Rogan Brown’s paper sculptures evokes images of coral reefs and cell division diagrams from our school textbooks, and it seems that no other material would be quite as suited. Beyond its symbolic significance, there’s an aesthetic appeal to Brown’s use of paper, which makes for modern and impactful artworks that are a breath of fresh air in any art collection.
Art and Science
The world is constantly advancing, and the progress of science and technology has skyrocketed in recent decades. These days we are constantly met with images from the world of science, from the pages of students’ biology books to news reports on the discovery of new physical particles, science is all around us. We must all learn how to navigate this world, and Rogan Brown’s paper sculptures are an exploration of this journey. These sculptures show science through the eyes of a layman, evoking the contradictory feelings of wonder and fear that we can feel in an ever-changing climate. Take a look at this untitled piece, where the swirls and contours of the paper appear to illustrate the beauty and terrifying power of a wave. Another sculpture that shows this dichotomy is Outbreak, where several bacteria-like entities are separated into separate petri dishes. This brings up feelings of fascination that we experience when peering through the microscope, while also creating a sense of discomfort at the spread of these microbes that appear to be escaping from their containers. The message is clear: ultimately, and despite our best efforts, we cannot contain or control nature.
The Vastness of Nature
Another key theme that runs throughout Rogan Brown’s sculpture is the incomprehensible scale of the natural world. From subatomic particles all the way up to vast galaxies, the amount of detail and information contained within nature is impossible to wrap your head around. Not only is it beyond the grasp of normal human perception, but science at times can also fall short in dealing with such immense quantities of data. Rogan grapples with these ideas in his sculptures by using careful attention to detail. Small Kernel is an example of this, where a process that appears to be cell division is depicted. Fine, delicate structure spread out from the centre of the artwork, appearing at once to be vast tree branches and lacy networks of veins and capillaries.
For those just taking their first steps in art collection and seasoned collectors alike, Rogan Brown’s sculptures make for an exciting purchase. These paper artworks are at once beautiful and thought-provoking, offering the chance to reflect on our place in an ever-changing world. Take a look today, or explore other Sculptures on offer.