As a biologist and artist Erick uses art as a form of science outreach. His pieces convey the wonders of the natural world to the audience. Erick has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia and an Honors Metal Certificate from the Kootenay School of the Arts at Selkirk College. Erick has worked and studied in labs for more than 20 years and still finds wonder there. It is this curiosity and excitement for the natural world that Erick brings to his art. In larger than life metal microbes, scanning electron micrographs in gilded frames and framed fixed specimen slides, the often invisible are made visible.
Microscope slides spend most of their life in a dark box, usually in a drawer. From time to time, they are put under an intense light for a few minutes, and then returned to their assigned spot. Clinical slides are read, observations are recorded, and they are stored. When a biologist describes a new species of microbe, they are deposited onto type slides and submitted to a museum for safe keeping. Samples are fixed for eternity. Microscope slides are utilitarian; any biology student has likely prepared, viewed and discarded hundreds of them. This piece steps away from the microscope to view these slides with the naked eye. The myriad of colours, shapes, and labels all fixed on a 1” x 3” piece of glass. Now they are free from the drawer, sandwiched between museum glass, and set in frames for viewing and appreciation.
Fixed was displayed at the Royal BC Museum as part of Celebrating Excellence in Science Journalism and Communication.