Through a fusion of art and science, Karl Gaff is a scientific photographic artist who works from his home studio laboratory in South County Dublin, where he employs cutting-edge microscopy techniques together with photography to create highly unique and innovative artworks.
To create the artworks, Karl experiments with the synthesis of chemicals through a form of the ancient practices of alchemy, in which he turns the ordinary into something extraordinary.
The chemicals can be thought of as paints, a drop of which, when spread across a glass plate, self-assembles into the most wonderful forms through the process of crystallisation. These forms are always unique, each and every time. They are essentially,irreproducible. The crystalline films are colourless and translucent, at least to our eyes. However, when you know how to look, you can make the invisible, visible. When you shine polarized light through these crystalline films and use a small hand lens to look through it, you can discover tiny worlds that resemble flower gardens, corn fields, forests, and all kinds of wondrous landscapes. Through the lens, you can see how a colourless stain can transform into a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of colours, textures and forms, all weaved together by the hand of nature and captured through the Art of Science Photography.
Karl’s work explores the mysterious and beautiful world of crystallized chemicals that are for the most part hidden from view in our daily lives. He has gained international recognition for his microscopy art, winning 40+ awards to date, with his photography featured in numerous museums around the world including the Natural History Museum in NYC, Louisiana Art & Science Museum, the Manchester Museum of Science & Industry, and more. His works have been featured in publications such as National Geographic and BBC How It Works magazine.