One of my works at “Exploring The Invisible”, Trinity Buoy Wharf. A photographic process that uses the microorganisms naturally present in natural water courses to make living images. To make these, I took water taken from the Thames, and used this to infuse a paper canvas. Next, I differentially exposed the medium to light, using a negative image, so that the normally invisible photosynthetic microbes naturally present in the water, would grow in the illuminated areas to 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
A dark patina of microbial growth on a local bottle bank. It’s tempting to speculate that it feeds on alcoholic fumes, and thus on the residue of our celebrations, intoxications, or various needs for oblivion. Snails have fed on this dark ecology, etching complex glyphs into it and bringing it to light.
Here are three stains of the bioluminescent bacterium Photobacterium phosphoreum. Identical growth conditions and growth stages, striking differences in light output. BioArtists choose your strain carefully! The upper most, and brightest strain, is the one that I use in my works. Its designation is P. phosphoreum HB (hyper bright) and it has been especially selected for its high level of bioluminescence.