By Madaline Harley and Rob Kessler
Hardback. 264 pages. Gold Medal winner of the IP Book Awards Outstanding Book of the Year - Most Original Concept.
Pollen is ubiquitous: In childhood we all learn a little about plant reproduction and the role of the bee, but few of us are aware of the astonishing diversity of the structure of pollen grains, although these tiny, extraordinary forms have fascinated the scientifically curious since the seventeenth century. These grains are enclosed beyond the accessible beauty of the flower until the moment of release, when they are carried by wind, water, or animal vectors to achieve their purpose, which is procreation.
Starting with a clear explanation of the structure and form of pollen, the authors go on to examine the remarkable events from pollination to fertilization, and the many unseen ways in which pollen impacts our lives. All of this is interwoven with a dazzling array of original images by the authors, created especially for the book.
Pollen is a unique interpretation of a magical world that no other book on the subject has ever been able to achieve.
Madeline Harley is former Head of the Palynology Unit at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Rob Kesseler is University of the Arts London Chair in Arts, Design & Science. He has often used plants as a source of inspiration. In 2001 he was appointed NESTA Fellow at Kew Gardens in the UK. Since then he has worked with microscopic plant material. He was 2010 Year of Bio-Diversity Fellow at the Gulbenkian Science Institute, Portugal. His work has been shown in museums and galleries in the UK, Europe, and North America, including solo exhibitions at The Victoria & Albert Museum, Kew Gardens, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon. He is a fellow of the Linnean Society and Royal Society of Arts.