Connected/ Breathe-In/ Becoming Probiotic/ Becoming Plastic is a new body of work (2022-2023).
Connected are Scoby sculptures comprising plastic and probiotic microbial cellulose. The cellulose is grown by fermenting Scoby (Symbiotic Colonies Of Bacteria and Yeast) whilst brewing Kombucha (probiotic tea).
Connected explores an indeterminate intermingling of micro-plastics and microbial life across species. Do we absorb plastic as innocently as beneficial spores and microbes?
Are we fungal beings becoming plastic? Imagine the invisible and intuit the finest traces inhabiting our organs. The human body is smothered with bacteria. When we walk and breathe we are simultaneously replenishing and contaminating our unique microscopic ecosystems of mycelium, bacterium, yeasts; plastics.
The Connected sculptures are evocative of human, animal and insect fragments; and microscopic forms. Bony, reminiscent of a ribcage, a pelvic girdle, a ball and socket joint and cross-species configurations; the cellulose skin is translucent, taut, wrinkled, blistered, fragile and leather-like, displaying a variety of qualities, sizes and thicknesses.
Microbial cellulose is used many ways; including growing delicate anatomical parts for heart valves, arterial repair and bone grafting. Cellulose for healing pressure ulcers, skin problems and burns is in development.