Rose-Lynn Fisher: The Topography of Tears

The Topography of Tears is a fascinating visual study of tear crystalization under a standard light microscope, exploring the terrains of numerous emotions and forms of lacrimal activity. I want to paste some of the artist’s statement here, to give you her own lens on the work.


The random compositions I find in magnified tears often evoke a sense of place, like aerial views of emotional terrain. Although the empirical nature of tears is a chemistry of water, proteins, minerals, hormones, antibodies and enzymes, the topography of tears is a momentary landscape, transient as the fingerprint of someone in a dream. This series ls like an ephemeral atlas.


Roaming microscopic vistas, I marvel at the visual similarities between micro and macro realms, how the patterning of nature seems so consistent, regardless of scale. Patterns of erosion etched into earth over millions of years may look quite similar to the branched crystalline patterns of an evaporated tear that took less than a minute to occur.


Tears are the medium of our most primal language in moments as unrelenting as death, as basic as hunger, and as complex as a rite of passage. They are the evidence of our inner life overflowing its boundaries, spilling over into consciousness. Wordless and spontaneous, they release us to the possibility of realignment, reunion, catharsis: shedding tears, shedding old skin. It’s as though each one of our tears carries a microcosm of the collective human experience, like one drop of an ocean.

The Topography of Tears


8 Responses to “Rose-Lynn Fisher: The Topography of Tears”

  1. ~meredith Says:

    This is beautiful. It’s very much like an article I read about the way ice crystals form when (practiced) meditators use ideas like love, hate, fear, etc. as they focus on the water droplet as it freezes. Amazing. This is really cool. Thanks! Meredith

  2. […] Click here to view original web page at […]

  3. Extremely fascinating and beautiful to look at. I wonder if this method of TC could be utilized to help decipher early detection of illnesses, since the body is 65 to 70% water.

  4. The skeptic in me wants to find other plausible scientific explanations for the variations. But then I realize, the older I get, the less I know. Funny how that works. So, I’m just going to sit back and appreciate nature, and enjoy the fact that none of us have all the answers.

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