Two large mycelial colonies of the biolumienscent fungus Panellus stripticus in daylight and the dark. Interesting, that the bioluminescence is now localized to specific areas.
A brief time-lapse of the slime mould Polycephalum physarum. I like the way that it advances as a semi-organised front, then disassembles, and finally begins to reorganise itself into pulsing filaments.
Ergot is the dried sclerotium of the fungus, Claviceps purpurea and these arise on the grains of various cereal plants. The sclerotium contains high concentrations of various highly toxic alkaloids which possess a range of biological activities, including effects on circulation and neurotransmission. Consumption of flour contaminated with Ergot results in St. Anthony’s fire or Ergotism, the symptoms of which include hallucinations, sensations of severe burning and gangrene. Ergotism resulted in the death of 40,000 people in AD 944 in Southern France. In this work the medium is ergot sclerotia and consequently it is quite possibly one of the most toxic forms of art ever produced. Here ergots, the compact dark and toxic masses, are held in an impermeable safety cabinet and are only visible only through a sealed viewing portal, so that their threat is ever present, but in that moment of viewing, their highly disruptive biochemical potential is contained.
One of my works at “Exploring The Invisible”, Trinity Buoy Wharf. I took water taken from the Thames, and used this to infuse a paper canvas.Next, I differently exposed the medium to light, using a negative image, so that the normally invisible photosynthetic microbes naturally present in the water, would form a poem, written in a living green ink which has arisen from the river water itself. Nature is capricious though, and the Thames seems to have censored the intended message, and created its own interpretation.
Here are the words of the original poem:
Grey Thames at flood in balance swung,
Grey gulls scared mewing overhead,
The chill grey wind a requiem said,
And over all the grey sky hung.
Mortlake Bridge, Fred S Thacker, 1920