I had been leafing through D’Arcy Thompson’s On Growth And Form. It’s a pretty difficult read. One theme is how biological structure is produced by certain recurring mechanical principles: how, for example, a ram’s horn comes to be curved (one side grows faster than the other, if I remember correctly).
I picked up this tiny little shell on a beach. I didn’t have any kit for macrophotography so I used a little point and shoot which had a digital magnifying scale to get focus as close as possible. Then I lit it with an anglepoise lamp to bring out the shape.
The visual interest of the result for me is its ambiguity. It’s clearly a hard structure designed to protect its contents but at the same time it has a soft, you might even say seductive, flowing line which is emphasised by the striations. What is it – hard or soft? It’s both.