SYMBIOSIS: Biology and art



A sepia tone pencil drawing by June Pauline Zent 18×24″

Here is a concept that has fascinated many people for years  and I will wager that you have thought about it even if you have never encountered the word. In biological terms it means two distinct organisms that survive only because each contributes a factor without which the other cannot live. Or, you can think about it as being a mutually beneficial relationship between two or more organisms.

Examples of Symbiosis are rampant in biological studies like the bacteria that proliferate in your stomach and intestines without which you cannot digest your food. You in turn provide a cosy environment for the bacteria to grow without which they cannot survive. Of course this is a beneficial sort of  ” you scratch my back and I will scratch yours”

But think about it. This arrangement can be extended to include non organic or a combination of both.Consider the painting above: the guitar has no function without the hands to play it. Together they make beautiful music; apart they both languish and accomplish nothing. Does the painter require color, or pencil, or computer without which the image remains in the thoughts of the artist? I think so! Even the lowly coin has a front and a back. Can you make a coin without both? Yes ,you say if one is a blank. But isn’t the blank one the back? Both blank! Ok, but I think that you would find a way to distinguish between the two. Michelangelo said that the statue is already inside the stone; You just have to chip the excess away.

Is your head spinning yet? Mine has been for a long time just pondering this together yet separate concept. I’m  sure that you can think of many examples. Share your thoughts with me!


About artzent

I am a visual artist and teacher of Fine art working and teaching in all 2D media. You can see images of my work in many categories, view my biography,comment on artwork, see what's on the easel right now, and more when you go to I will be blogging here about personal true stories and sharing my life and work. I hope that you will comment and share yours with me!
This entry was posted in Original artwork by June Pauline Zent, True Stories About Artwork and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to SYMBIOSIS: Biology and art

  1. The painting imparts sadness ,,I don’t know ,it’s the feeling it cretaed in me it’e like a lonely old man playing his old guitar under the moonlight,recalling old painful memories of a beloved .

  2. artzent says:

    Right there is a sample of your imagination. But not all of my art is not smiles. I hope that you read the story. It’s not sad!

  3. Life and all things love says:

    Love it!

  4. artzent says:

    Oh, so glad that you do and thanks for saying so!

  5. lillianccc says:

    How interesting is this? What a great question to think about! I think all creative endeavors can be applied to this symbiosis concept. Not sure if this would count but writing in some ways kind of embodies the symbiosis spirit, if that makes sense. Words are just words and our brains are just brains, but put them together and you get writing.

    • artzent says:

      I see that you got the concept Lillian. Writing is certainly an example of the organic and inorganic form of symbiosis depending upon each other. Without each together nothing gets done. You get an A+. But that’s no surprise to me!

  6. Sharon says:

    At first I wondered why you named this picture Symbiosis, then after I read what you wrote about it, it makes perfect sense! Love it. The more I think about it, the more things I think of that require sybiosis. You, with your art, give thoughts to my brain. Thanks, Cousin. 🙂

    • artzent says:

      I encountered this concept for the first time in college as a biology major and I think the painting was a way of expressing my inorganic take on it. It’s like together is better with almost everything. Writing about it and having people understand is just great! Hugs to you my cousin!

  7. Sharon says:

    I see I spelled Sumbiosis wrong, the second time I typed it, Sorry about that. My mind and my fingers dont always jive. lol

  8. Sharon says:

    I see I spelled Symbiosis wrong, the second time I typed it, Sorry about that. My mind and my fingers dont always jive. lol

  9. It is amazing the strength in you . you are amazing just how much beauty in your works, thank you for sharing your art with us, I wish you all the best

    • artzent says:

      Wow, that is so exciting and thank you so much for honoring me for this award.It is thrilling to see this kind of comment. I will write another thank you for you tomorrow.

  10. Wonderful connection, brain – hand – guitar cords – waves – ear – brain.
    I like all details, especially the chord that is still vibrating. Beautiful symbiosis.

  11. artzent says:

    I see that your head is spinning with the concept. It has been good for me to write about it and now so many understand how beautiful everything works together a little better. Thank you as always for your compliments!

  12. artzent says:

    Do you understand that your photos are artwork too? And you are very good at it. I could show you how to paint and draw as I have done for many others but you are too far away. One day I might write a teaching book but please understand that a good photographer is also an artist. You just use a different medium. i love your photos and love that you commenst!

  13. I appreciate your consideration but I personally don’t see my images as artwork. I see photography as artwork mainly if I look at certain images on Flickr Commons and some photographers.
    If shots I take are artwork then all shots are artwork, excluding tequila :).

  14. artzent says:

    LOL You will not disuade me from admiring your work. However, some photographers work would be improved by a shot of tequila!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s