The Seed Artist
for Iowa State University
"There's mystery to it..."
Robert Llewellyn is an artist of the everyday. Objects that most of us pass by and barely notice, Robert turns into wall-spanning works of art adorning galleries and homes across the country. Bit of scrap metal, a loose piece of plastic, a budding flower, and bark on a tree. His nature photos have appeared in countless anthologies and various large-scale coffee table books. If you’ve ever looked at a published photo of a flower, or a tree, or a seed, there’s a good chance Robert took it.
When Robert focused his camera on the seeds in his yard, it became an obsession. The other worlds and alien landscapes found all across his lawn were mesmerizing when seen up close. It made him realize the plan for a plant to get from point A to B was more extraordinary than anything “thought of in our philosophy.”
Pierce Mill Media went hunting for a seed artist—someone we could feature who had used seeds as the subject to show the “wow” of their profound designs. We were gobsmacked when we found Robert.
We spent several days with him at his country house to document the artist at work and try to capture a glimpse of how someone as singular as Robert takes on the day. Produced for the Iowa State Seed Science Center, The Seed Artist aimed to show a different take on seed science—we were after that long ephemeral connection between science and art, the rational and the irrational, between the seen and the unseen.