Biogenic Designs: patterned panacea


These are examples from a series of works featuring purely biogenic designs, which explore the inherent creativity of, and which use nature, to directly generate textile designs. The patterns here have been generated by Streptomyces,  a beguiling species of bacteria. Natural inhabitants of rich forest soils, they emit aroma molecules, and are largely responsible for the intoxicating smell of woodlands in autumn. I like to think of them as the wise old men of microbiology as they have a very complex biochemistry and produce the majority of antibiotics used in human and veterinary medicine and also anti-tumour and anti-parasitic agents, herbicides, and many other active compounds. As a consequence, of this, the textile has unique curative properties.  As before the bacteria are inoculated onto the textile and then allowed to grow. After 48 hours they have grown with the inherent properties of the bacteria dictating the eventual design. In this example the texture of the design is more akin to velvet (think flock wall paper) as the bacteria are filamentous in nature. In addition these bacteria are not motile so the patterns form only where they are inoculated. Another remarkable feature of this textile, is that it possesses the intimate aroma of rich woodland soil.

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