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New Special Exhibition Offers a New Perspective

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature’s New Special Exhibition Offers a New Perspective

Opening on April 12, Illumination: Seeing Beyond the Shell invites guests to see in a new light

A shell can be many things: a mollusk’s protection against a predator, a piece of jewelry, a makeshift spoon—it can even be a calcium supplement or an alternative to limestone mining to help fight climate change! But what happens when you take a closer look?

With the opening of Illumination: Seeing Beyond the Shell on Tuesday, April 12, The Bishop continues the celebration of its 75th Anniversary Year of Light with the stunning photography of Scott Odell — who is not only a talented local photographer but also a member of the Museum’s Staff.

This exhibition of macro photography literally takes a closer look at the shells in The Bishop’s permanent collection, showing what happens when you take an object and view it in a completely different way. “I just wanted to show people objects in a different light, and that anything can be viewed another way by just changing the light source, angles and color,” Odell said.

“Illumination can be used in both a literal and intellectual context,” said Tiffany LaBritt, Curator of Collections. “This exhibition asks viewers of the art to explore and connect to the images in different ways beyond just seeing a pretty shell.”

These images are the fortuitous result of the Museum’s temporary closure during the Covid-19 pandemic. Odell originally began his work with the idea of having an online exhibition where visitors to The Bishop’s website could continue to view items from the permanent collection.

“We have a vast collection at The Bishop to choose from and so the ‘playing with light’ project started,” Odell said. “By using different light sources, I was able to create shadows where I wanted them to be and lighting from behind gave them a totally different look. You might be surprised with the end results!”

Illumination: Seeing Beyond the Shell opens on Tuesday, April 12 on the Museum’s second floor. Visiting is included in the price of admission.

Imperial Volute, Cymbiola imperialis.
Image by Scott Odell.

Atlantic Hairy Triton, Monoplex pilearis.
Image by Scott Odell.