I've been bitten. Actually it happened several years ago when I discovered the world of Devonian fossils - residing right beneath my feet (all around me, in fact) in my new home of Catskill, New York. Their  presence and my subsequent interest, moved by their organic and natural beauty, has helped me to better understand this long continuum of life - of which we share the most minute fraction.

I am an artist and not a scientist. I have always, though, been intrigued with the visual manifestations of scientific inquiry - those confluence points between art and science. From images of atoms smashing to diagrams of solar systems real and imagined there is a beauty and elegance that all but the "geekiest" among us have the good fortune of witnessing. And I believe that focusing a lens on these fossils helps to open a personal window to a relatively unseen view of life's earliest stages.

Three hundred eighty million years ago this region was teeming with life and that life has left messages of its former presence. I seek out those messages. As with so many of our experiences, changes in focus often lead to changes in awareness. (Ask any of my friends who now "know" about fossils. They may not have ever seen them before, but now they find them all the time. And on many levels I find that very "cool"). As I hike through the local streams, quarries, and fields with hammer, chisel, and camera I am finding an inexhaustible source for new and fresh images of my very oldest neighbors.

Art Murphy



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