Project 4 – Hidden Landscape of Plants

Artist – Shelley Doolan

Scientists – Dr Heather Whitney and Mike Harrap, Bristol Bee Lab, Bristol University; Dr Natasha de Vere, National Botanic Garden of Wales; Michele Bales, Buglife

As part of the Cross-pollination project, Doolan will be working with colleagues at the ‘Bee Lab’ within Bristol University. The project will draw upon research into multi-modal ‘signals’ produced by plants to attract pollinators. Specifically she will create a series of tactile glass artefacts that explore and reveal the hidden structures of plant textures.   The work will make use of images gathered by scanning electron microscopy in conjunction with lost-wax glass casting.

Doolan will investigate themes of structural colour such as iridescence as well the use of different textures to allow pollinators to have a secure ‘footing’ and – the darker side of pollination – those that cause the pollinator to slide into the carnivorous plant.

There will be a strong emphasis on the tactility of the surfaces, with the intention to draw in the ‘viewer’ through the interplay of light, colour, transparency, texture and pattern, to reveal and suggest a hidden world of micro-structure that forms the landscape for pollinator and plant.