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Lichen Couture

Project type

group exhibition


Mustarinda residency, Finland



At the beginning of May, Mustarinda was covered in meters of snow. Blank background with a dense spruce outline seemed like a very modest and harsh place to endure. Day by day, mild weather transformations were humbly revealing hints of the new forest layers. 

Hair lichen overgrowing the hanging branches were everywhere. Constant moisture creates perfect conditions for those particular species to coexist. They hang, reshape, fall, entangle, overlay, float on all possible surfaces. Observing various scenographies and how they emplace the forest, my idea for our collaboration emerged. 

My medium is digital and usually I’m drawn to the textures of the place. Our collaboration with lichen here followed an unexpected creative spark. Juxtaposition of filamentous lichen and filament for 3d printing instantly drew my attention.

Seeing lichen as filament, I used it as a thread to weave new stories. Printing with, on, from lichen, I combined simulated and grown, controlled and spontaneous. Forming and transforming with heat and moisture I experimented with symbiotic materiality of bio-based filaments creating tactile forest couture. Informed by the sculptural ecologies nearby, in melting water, on decaying trunks, branches and barks, unseen embroidery visualized. 

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