Róbert Márkus is a researcher at the Department of Neurochemistry at Stockholm University. In his work, he uses advanced microscopes equipped with cameras to try to understand how the cell nucleus works. He has always been fascinated by how things are structured and what they look like in high magnification. Already at the age of twelve, he built his first microscope at home in his room.

I ask him how he chooses his subjects and the answer is simple: beauty. Curiosity drives him to bring samples to the lab, and a whole new world opens up in the microscope. Who would have thought that the mouth parts of a tapeworm could be so perfectly arranged, or that unicellular protozoa could look like transparent bluebells?

“We see things that seem familiar to us every day, but if we just stop for a second and look at the world through a magnifying glass and in a different light, we can encounter miracles that we have never seen before.”

He has had several exhibitions and has won numerous prestigious awards for his work, but his pictures are now being displayed in Sweden for the first time, outside the Stockholm University Library. Some of the photographs are from his research, while others were taken in nature.

“Photography is a joy to me. It is a joy to discover, visualise and tell a story.”

After my meeting with Róbert, I stop for a moment and listen to the reactions of people walking by. “Wow, what is this? I would like to have this at home!” says a young girl to her friends and points at a fluorescent fruit fly larva. Others stop to read the plaques under the pictures, start, and smile. It is clear, at any rate, that the pictures appeal to many people.