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A cosmos of small things

Tatty Martin

A journey through the art of Bristol student Ben Berisha, delving into the matter within everything, from the big to the small, to the big within the small. Taking up to three years to produce, Berisha make’s wonderfully intricate and almost hallucinogenic etchings. The monochromatic quality to Berisha’s art echoes his focus on the core structure behind anything and everything.


My art is influenced by the scales found in nature, ranging from the atomic to the cosmic. The mathematical order of the universe, both predictable and chaotic, is seen in fractural patterns observed under the microscope, and out in space, and in the cycle of birth and death that occurs on both the cosmic and micro scale. Such cycles and patterns provide the stimulus for much of my work. Often a concept or image generates an initial idea with no fixed end in mind, which develops during the working process. Once I finish a piece it usually leads to a new idea or ways of extending the concept further.


Loosely based on the expansion of the universe. From the moment of the big bang atoms form into stars which form into galaxies and other more complex cosmic stuff. Some of the areas remain empty space while others team with life and destruction.

I worked on this piece for around 3 years but sometimes with breaks of months. This gave me time to develop the piece at a natural rate and I looked forward to coming back to it after a beak. Printing on this scale was challenging as etching is better suited to smaller scale work. I had to buy a plastic tray to use as an acid bath to etch the metal plate as it did not fit in the print studio acid baths.



Dish 1

24cm diameter, circular intaglio etching (petri dish pint)

The growing organisms in a circle are influenced by the ouroboros imagery of a dragon eating its tail. This in itself represents natures endless cycle of life, birth and death. Preparing the circular metal plate required cutting the plate into an angular circle and sanding the sides smooth. I have worked on a pentaptych (series of five) of circular plates each one at a further stage of development.

Dish 2

47cm diameter, circular intaglio etching, larger scale petri-dish etching.


Experiment 1

34cm x 20cm, intaglio etching

Experimental etching created by mixing a waxy acid resist with, turpentine and methylated spirits then allowed to dry and etched in acid. The patterns formed are directly the work of chemicals interacting and not a human hand guiding an object to make marks, are therefore random. Not being under full control of the marks you are making was a new of working for me.
















Experiment 2

20cm x 15cm, intaglio etching, experiment using similar process as above.

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