Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
An ecological system as machine - artificial digestion. Taking 20 litres of cyanobacteria (blue algal bloomed) pond water through 8 processes of natural filtration until becoming clean drinking water; sphagnum moss, charcoal, gravel, sand, corriander, pine sap, unvitrified ceramic and reoxygenation.
Ecologus plays on research into the parallel rise between chronic gut disease and climate catastrophic events. Taking inspiration from agricultural practices on cattle, namely fistulation, the digestive system is compared to terrestrial ecology. The scientific aesthetic straddles laboratory, pseudo science and a medical incubator. Sat in a polluted pond we are asked to consider from the ecosphere down to the locale habitat. Using candle wicks to represent the history and significance of a recurring motif of juncus effusus the common rush, it is clear the roots of what we see and think we know go much deeper.
Winner of the Royal Scottish Academy Sir William Gillies Bequest Award
Winner of the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop Graduate Reseach Award
With thanks to Scottish Environmental Research Center & the British Society of Scientific Glassblowers, special mention to Robert McLeod & Craig Prentice
Selected images courtesey Julie Howsen.