This project has changed how I experience my local environment hugely and I hope that it will help others to think differently about seaweed, microbiology and the Living Coast. The journey has been hard, I but worthwhile, there was so much research to be done and I wanted to give it my all, despite it being a very short residency.
But this is not the end. Next I want to explore how I can take this research forward to develop a new artwork or body of works, the issues of climate change and of agar security are very important, and reflecting on how seaweed collecting changed opportunities for women who wanted to work scientifically in the Victorian era and the situation of women in science globally. With access to new cheaper tools perhaps it’s almost in the grip of citizen/garage/kitchen scientists to apply portable whole genome sequencing technologies (such as nanopore technologies) actually at the beach, or on a more basic level searching for fluorescent seaweed using a UV torch, such as the one I found below, is great fun. I would also like to make a larger textile work with botanically printed silk, perhaps a quilt or dress as I’ve worked a lot with those forms previously.
Finally I want to give a huge thanks to Liz Whitehead and Laura London at Fabrica Gallery for supporting this project and to Sarah Stewart, Jane Freeman, Kerrie Davies, John Paul, Stephen Forsythe and Ella Garrud for participating in interviews for the blog.