In the run up to Art Source 2022, the Sunday Times published this article describing my chemical photographic artworks, together with other artists set to show case their work at the event.

A thin crystalline film of Citric acid with crystal grain boundary.

A thin crystalline film of Dopamine with several trapped air pockets.

Fans of music festivals will recognize the phenomenon: you are slowly trying to leave a performance along with thousands of other people, when all of a sudden the crowd halts, and you can move no more. Like a molecule in cooling molten silica, your motion is suddenly arrested – you and your fellow festival-goers have turned into a glass. Or a glass analogue, at least.

Other glass analogues include ant colonies, biological cells trapped between slides, and colloids, such as shaving foam (see image above). Colloids in particular, with particles ranging up to microns in size, are convenient systems for testing theories of the glass transition, as their dynamics can actually be seen through a microscope. Even more surprising, though, is the onset of glass behaviour in certain computer algorithms. For instance, if an algorithm is designed to seek out progressively better solutions to a problem with a large number of variables it can become overwhelmed by complexity and grind to a halt before the optimal solution is found. By borrowing statistical methods designed for the fundamental study of glasses, however, such algorithms can be improved, and better solutions found.

A selection of my imagery produced for a commission for Olympus Life Science for promotional material featured in Wiley Microscopy and Analysis magazine.

Naturevolve is a wonderful magazine dedicated to Science Art. You can download the issues for free by signing up to the subscription at Naturevolve

A feature and interview in the Donga Science magazine published in South Korea.

A chemical cocktail constituting an anti-inflammatory agent with a potassium salt creates this network of branches frozen in a crystalline film. Imaged with compensated polarised light microscopy.

2021 - A Time to Call Home by Hugh O'Donnell

About the Book

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, rarely a day goes by when we are not bombarded with distressing images, statistics or forecasts that suggest the future of our planet hangs in the balance and that to avert disaster we must take affirmative action. Time to Call Home is a collection of short meditations inspired by Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical letter on climate change, that encourages the reader to take courage in the face of adversity and to ponder the astonishing gift of the natural world. Unlike many examinations of the environmental crisis, that are understandably prescriptive in approach, the aim of this particular work is not to admonish but to embolden. Readers are inspired to ponder the awesome gift of creation and to heed its attendant call to stewardship of our shared home. With recourse to poetry, scripture, art and music, Hugh O’Donnell takes the reader on an awesome ecological journey, from which we emerge committed to redoubling our efforts to live at one with our natural surroundings.

2021 - Wiley Microscopy and Analysis Magazine

2021 - Die Zeit Newspaper

2021 - Royal Microscopy Society Calendar

2020 - How It Works Magazine

2018 - Colin Salter - Science Is Beautiful Book

2017 - Oxford Press - Human Nutrition Book

2019 - RIT Press - Images From Science 3 Book