Whether they come to us over the counter or under it, modern life is positively bristling with pills, powders and liquids.

In a society where our appetite for poisons both legal and illegal show little sign of abating, one artist decided to quite literally take a closer look at those mind and mood altering substances we seem to hold so dear.

Berlin-based Sarah Schönfeld took a pseudo-scientific approach to her All You Can Feel project, which sought to visually depict the essence of common recreational drugs - both those which are lab-engineered and naturally-occurring.

ketamine

Frosty and foreboding ice-like barbs stud this drop of ketamine

She squeezed drops of each substance onto already-exposed negative film and enlarged the chemical reactions they revealed.

The results varied hugely, and in each instance revealed unique shapes and colours that seemed peculiarly appropriate to the particular substance.

Soothing mother-of-pearl hued tendrils frill out from the base of a bead of dopamine, while icy-looking barbs stud a grain of ketamine.

Caffeine bristles with tiny filaments, much like the effect it delivers, while crystal meth appears to buzz with electricity.

Schönfeld told HuffPost UK: “The feedback for this work has been quite strong. I think it’s a certain kind of modern mythology or narrative according to the model the ‘chemical self’.

crystal meth

A bead of crystal meth appears to pulse with electric, manic energy

When asked for her thoughts on the juxtaposition of such beautiful images with the ugliness and destruction they were capable of causing, she replied: “They have a destructive potential like almost everything if you don’t use it right.

"Poison and healing are very close to each other therefore we have the symbol of the snake [and bowl in pharmacy logos].

“Most of the substances have a body-own equivalent, which we would be able to activate via dance, fasting or [alternating our] breathing.

“But we have nowadays an instant mysticism, where you are able to consume a certain kind of ecstasy.”

  • Caffeine
    Sarah Schönfeld
  • Cocaine
    Sarah Schönfeld
  • Dopamine
    Sarah Schönfeld
  • GHB and GBL (aka fantasy and ecstasy)
    Sarah Schönfeld
  • GHB
    Sarah Schönfeld
  • Heroin
    Sarah Schönfeld
  • LSD
    Sarah Schönfeld
  • MDMA
    Sarah Schönfeld
  • Opium
    Sarah Schönfeld
  • Speed and Mephedrone
    Sarah Schönfeld