The To­pog­ra­phy of Tears

Amateur Photographer - - 7days -

Rose-Lynn Fisher, Belle­vue Lit­er­ary Press, £15, 128 pages, soft­back, ISBN 978-1-94265-828-3

AC­CORD­ING to sci­en­tists, tears fall into three main cat­e­gories: basal, re­flex and psy­chic (emo­tional). Basal tears are the nat­u­ral lu­bri­cant our bod­ies pro­duce to as­sist move­ment of lid over eye; re­flex tears are a re­sponse to out­side ir­ri­tants such as cut­ting onions; and psy­chic tears are trig­gered by emo­tions such as fear, hap­pi­ness etc. In 2008, dur­ing a pe­riod of in­tense grief, artist and pho­tog­ra­pher Rose- Lynn Fisher be­gan to won­der what tears might look like through an optical mi­cro­scope. She de­cided to study her own tears, as well as those of others. Dur­ing the project she was struck by the way the mag­ni­fied tears looked like aerial views of a land­scape. ‘ The pat­tern­ing of na­ture seems so con­sis­tent, re­gard­less of scale’, she ex­plains. ‘Each one of our tears car­ries a mi­cro­cosm of the col­lec­tive hu­man ex­pe­ri­ence, like a drop in the ocean.’ It’s an in­cred­i­ble book, and de­spite be­ing a mod­est soft­back it lingers long in the mind. Tracy Calder ★★★★★

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