In an attempt to highlight the diversity of marine invertebrates, renowned photographer Susan Middleton has introduced a series of compelling portraits titled Spineless. Each of
her photos highlights the bizarre beauty of these crucial marine animals.
By photographing these creatures against a white background, Middleton has removed all visual distractions — intricate details, forms, and colors become easier to identify against the neutral background. However, when speaking with Middleton, she explains that it is about more than removing visual distractions, there is also a conceptual reason for her minimalist approach. “What I am removing visually is any trace of habitat, and when it comes to many of my subjects that is what they are missing, a healthy habitat,” Middleton explained. “The isolation speaks to something in their reality.”
For more than twenty-five years, as a photographer, author and Guggenheim Fellow, Middleton has explored the intersection of art, science and biodiversity through photography.
Middleton’s Spineless series effectively tells the story of these spineless creatures that dominate most marine habitats and make up the backbone of life on earth. Explore the Spineless exhibit virtually by clicking through each image below.
All photos courtesy of artist (c) Susan Middleton