Marja-Leena Rathje
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Beaty Biodiversity Museum - 3





Moving along in the Beaty to look at the specimens in the glazed display cases, still in the Atrium and below the Blue Whale, I was immediately enthralled by the gorgeous skulls of many creatures. I'm sorry I don't have the proper names for the specimens to give you here as I tended to be more attracted by their diversity and the beauty of their textures, shapes and colours in what I chose to photograph than to make this a scientific record. It was too time-consuming and complicated for me to make a textual record of every image.

In fact my husband said when he saw me eagerly pull out the camera again, "Now I'll never get you out of here!" I think we were both reminded of our long ago visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta where I went so camera happy, especially over the fossils. That amazing place was the source of many photos (pre-digital), some of which ended up in my printworks. Maybe some details from this Beaty experience will also become part of future work too while they sit in my image library waiting for that right moment of inspiration and connection. In the meantime, they have provided inspiration in continuing thoughts about biodiversity and loss, as well as great blogging material.

I might have taken far more images but was often frustrated by the challenges of too many reflections on the glass fronts or tops, especially in the areas away from the Atrium. However, in the top photo, I was intrigued by a happy reflection of the Blue Whale's tail and the trees outside, so chose not to crop them out. More to come - are you getting bored yet?

Related: Beaty Biodiversity Museum - Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7

Marja-Leena | 29/03/2011 | 10 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Canada and BC, Nature, Photoworks


Extraordinary! They look like they were influenced by the prints of a certain Marja-Leena.

Marja-Leena, couldn't you just snap a close-up of the placard for every exhibit you photograph? That way you could transcribe later (and delete those photos from your hard drive if you need the space).

Natalie, really? I'm glad you think so!

Dave, I knew it would be you who would have some objections!! I did try a few but they usually had several items on one placard then I got confused as to which was which. My husband even did the same with his iPod and I still could not quite make the connections. And I didn't want to post errors and reveal my ignorance :-) However I'm pretty certain that the third photo is of a Southern elephant seal Mirounga leonina from Tasmania. The bottom photo shows elephant teeth on the left, but I don't recall what the right one is.

Rouchswalwe, oh, good! More coming if I can manage to process some that will look good enough, what with the glass and the reflections...

Beaty, via your camera and Fred's forbearance, has provided remarkable photographs for those too far away to visit. In my quirky way I couldn't help noticing the single shoe-clad foot in picture number 2. It seems to stretch bio diversity as far as it will go.

Interesting patterns, for sure. I would imagine that they'll seep into your head. And at that point they will no longer need names.

Joe, I'm glad you are enjoying these, and so pleased that you saw the reflection of a human foot and the quirky connection!

Marly, that's my hope, and indeed no names will be needed then.

Nope, not bored yet!

Something very mournful about that turtle skeleton inside its shell, I'm not quite sure why.

One more reason to get myself up to Vancouver -- to see these, to see you. I love skeletons and other left over hard parts of once living things. The soft parts can be a bit icky after death but there is real beauty within.

Lucy, I agree the turtle skeleton is sad, maybe it's the way it's been posed unnaturally, with the way the feet look like hands and the head is at such a sad angle.

Anne, you must indeed visit this museum - just your thing! I have to admit that there were many displays that were too disturbing for me to look at closely - will come to that in a later post. Look forward to a visit!

Taina, thanks, and do come visit, there's a lot to see in Vancouver. Would love to meet.