This work was selected for the cover of Astrobiology magazine in February 2016. It is my interpretation of the potential cradle of life, an alkaline hydrothermal vent, and is titled Lost City after the first of such structures found, in the bottom of the Atlantic.
The blurb of the magazine said: “Art can create impressions that go beyond the visible, relying instead on our knowledge of the invisible, in this case the flux of carbon and energy that arguably drove the emergence of life. The painting conjures up the labyrinth of micropores inside alkaline vents, as well as a sense of continuous flow, as thermal gradients dissipate through convection and mixing within the porous walls of the vent. As Sojo et al. discuss in this issue, the far-from-equilibrium flux of carbon and energy in Hadean alkaline hydrothermal vents made them ideal electrochemical flow reactors for the origin of life, with a physical topology remarkably analogous, perhaps even homologous, to the structure of autotrophic cells. Sojo et al. review recent work on microbiology and geochemistry and point to a new hypothesis for why bacteria and archaea may have diverged before they even left this cradle of life”.
I created a series of 3 works representing recent research pointing that life on Earth originated in deep sea alkaline thermal vents. This is one is the most literal, with porous rocks hosting incipient life elements.
We are closer to understanding the origin of life on earth than to comprehend human consciousness. And the origin of life is also easier to paint, I think. Here the inorganic molecules mix and become organic molecules that mix and become simple cells that mix and evolve and become….
The origin of simple life being studied in the lab. Silvester species are captured, grow, mutate and escape to the wilderness again. Life coming and going between the lab and the wild, as once upon a time perhaps life moved out of its original site to the wild, and never looked back.
Soupers versus venters. I am in the venters camp, therefore I don’t draw warm prehistoric seas and call them origin of life pictures. This is an ideal representation of a hydrothermal vent with more complex and sophisticated structures distributed on the periphery; upwards and outwards. Initially done for a cover of a scientific journal, eventually a different image was chosen (little fleas inside other fleas…)