It’s not unusual for notable figures and events to be celebrated within the arts, with sculptures, statues, tapestries, and paintings, ensuring their legacy lives on and that their story is passed down through the ages. In a fun twist of convention a new towering sculpture has been unveiled at the Eden Project to honour an entirely unsung hero of history – cyanobacteria.
Although we mostly take for granted the oxygen we breathe, without this tiny organism beginning to produce it 3 billion years ago, the chances are we would not be breathing at all. Today the cyanobacteria, and its descendants (found in plants, phytoplankton, and are even sold as foods such as Spirulina) are responsible for providing the oxygen we need to survive.
And now we offer it the honour it deserves with this eight metres tall ‘breathing’ ceramic sculpture created by Studio Swine. The entire Infinity Blue installation weighs in at around 20 tonnes and its entire surface is coated in tiles formed from Cornish clay, chosen to represent the mining history of the local area. The texture is provided by an algorithm found in nature that creates a distinctive pattern on various living things from animals to leaves – the reaction-diffusion algorithm.
To create an immersive experience, Studio Swine incorporated 32 vortex cannons which release scented smoke rings. By collaborating with Givaudan, a Parisienne perfume house, a selection of primordial scents were produced to offer an entirely new insight into history.
A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, October 2019.