Codex Gastropoda #2: The Snail’s Song

This next image from my Codex Gastropoda series is called Voluta Musica. In 1758, a small snail shell commonly known as the music volute was given its Latinized name by Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist. Found primarily in the Caribbean and West Indies, the markings on its shell closely resemble musical manuscript notation. In May of 2009, it was my good fortune to visit the early home of Carl Linnaeus and his family in Falun, Sweden. Though it has become a museum, the home and its furnishings have retained the elegant precision befitting a person of Linnaeus’ scientific discipline. In that sense, the Codex Gastropoda series is my tribute to his attention to detail that earned him the title ‘Father of Taxonomy’. There is an additional layer of intent to this drawing. Have you ever placed a seashell to your ear and listened to the faintly musical sounds of the ocean? Whether you believe those sounds are echoes of the blood flow in your ears or of the ambient noise in your environment matter less in my opinion than the poetic interpretation of our imaginations. And like the beautiful markings on the shells of Voluta Musica, the music we love is engraved on our memories…

Verba Volant, Sed Musica Sicut Mare Aeternus (Words Fly Away, But Music Is As Eternal As The Sea.)

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