Future Materials Bank, Maastricht

Jane is currently researching and fermenting Scoby Probiotic Microbial Cellulose as a sustainable material for sculpture.

Fermenting Scobys (Symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeasts)

 

The Scoby probiotic microbial cellulose is listed under the Bacteria, Biodegradable, Bioplastic, Recyclable, Regenerative and Smart Material catergories at the Future Materials Bank, Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht as a sustainable material for sculpture.

https://www.futurematerialsbank.com/material/scoby-3/

Making sculpture using probiotic microbial cellulose
Making sculpture using probiotic microbial cellulose

“The Future Materials Bank is an archive of materials that supports and promotes the transition towards ecologically conscious art and design practices. So, by collecting information and samples from makers around the world, the archive aims to inspire research and disseminate knowledge about sustainable materials.”

“Jane Fox is attracted to an elemental engagement with matter. Her sculpture addresses the organic in more than shape…so we naturally turn to the facility in our thought and language to explain it through similarities – with tree-life, bone or stone; that is, with the matter upon which existence is built, grows and advances.” Martin Holman Art historian and writer.

Connected/ Breathe-In/ Becoming Probiotic/ Becoming Plastic

 

Connected/ Breathe-In/ Becoming Probiotic/ Becoming Plastic are prototype sculptures made with probiotic microbial cellulose. The cellulose is grown by fermentation over 12-15 months.

The cellulose is visceral and moist. On removal from the fermentation culture the cellulose changes. Exposure to the air, drys the cellulose and it becomes skin-like; translucent, taut, wrinkled, blistered, fragile or leather-like.

Fresh microbial cellulose
Fresh microbial cellulose

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.

Prototype Scoby microbial cellulose sculpture called Connected/ Breathe-In/ Becoming Probiotic/ Becoming Plastic
Prototype Scoby microbial cellulose sculpture called Connected/ Breathe-In/ Becoming Probiotic/ Becoming Plastic

Connected explores an intermingling of micro-plastics and microbial life across species, and so asks the question are we absorbing plastic as easily as beneficial spores and microbes?


Jane has an article published in Planet – The Welsh Internationalist magazine/ Welsh and International politics and culture called, ‘Becoming Probiotic – Health, ecology and our second brain’. ISSN 0048-4288. Therefore, this 2023 edition marks the NHS at 75.

https://www.planetmagazine.org.uk/current