Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Serratia: The Painter

Embellished Red Suction Cups 

Shower Curtain Rothko

 Self Portrait: a water colour by Serratia


Amongst the many bacteria that I work with,  the naturally occuring red pigmented bacterium Serratia marcescens, has the most unique and most stiking natural aesthetic . In the top two images, it has embellished the otherwise mundane fittings of a damp bathroom and in one case has produced an almost Rothkoesque image. When given watercolours, it will also paint. In the bottom image the red colour is made by many billions of bacterial cells of Serratia. The other colours are traditional  watercolours and the picture is made as Serratia has moved the watercolours around its medium so that in a sense it has painted.    

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