Linocut with phosphorescent powder on reclaimed plankton collecting silk off-cuts, light source, 350 x 50 cms, 2015

By chance I received interesting fabric in the form of plankton silk off-cuts from the Sir Allister Hardy Ocean Foundation (SAHFOS) in Plymouth, UK. This material is used by marine biologists to collect plankton from the oceans for their database and research. I decided to print a pattern of phytoplankton with phosphorescent powder to reference bioluminescence. If displayed in combination with my lung series, the piece is meant to focus on the role of phytoplankton in the oceans as carbon-binders and providers of oxygen. Not many people realize that algae in the ocean provide at least half of the oxygen we breathe.


“If all creatures on land were to die tomorrow, life in the ocean would be fine. But if all creatures in the ocean would die tomorrow, life on land would die as well. We air-breathers are fully dependent on marine life for keeping us alive, not least because sun-feeding plankton still produce every second breath you and I are taking now”.

[1] Quote from Boris Worm in: Mitchell, Alanna.  “A Human Hand on the Switch of Life”, Carbon 12,Fondation EDF, Paris, 2012