Donald & Era Farnsworth
Glass Houses I, center panel (Foram & Cocolithospore) (3D version) , 2013
mixed media on rag paper
image: 38.5" x 89.25"; paper: 44.75" x 93.75”

Donald and Era Farnsworth’s Glass Houses series depict diatoms, a class of tiny, single-cell organisms found in nearly every body of water on Earth that build delicate shells for themselves out of silica. Diatoms are major sources of oxygen in our atmosphere and are estimated to be responsible for 25% of the carbon fixation (conversion of carbon dioxide to organic compounds) in the ocean. By enlarging these microscopic life forms and bringing them to the surface of their work, the Farnsworths invite us to consider both the beauty and the ecological importance of these otherwise invisible creatures.