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Painting with microorganisms

Sci & Art paper by resident artist at ITQB

Oeiras, 31.03.11

The work developed at ITQB by Patrícia Noronha, resident artist in the Microbiology Laboratory, has just been published in the journal Leonardo.

Patricia Noronha works with microorganisms that produce colored natural pigments to create biopaintings. The paintings result from the artist’s observation and experimentation with evolving patterns of yeast biofilms. The biopaintings are then obtained by controlling the growth of yeast cells on paper and ensuring the stability of the final work. According to the artist “the often-unexpected results are part of the creative process and suggest new artistic methodologies to be explored”.

With a PhD in Biology, Patricia Noronha, started her art work at ITQB, in the framework of Programa de Residências Artisticas from Ciência Viva. In her project “diferentes olhares sobre os objectos científicos”, Patricia reflected on the relationship between scientific and artistic processes. Now, as a post-doc in artistic studies,  she is interested in exploring biological materials to produce art, in particular she is interested in the use of microbial patterns as a form of art.

While mostly unknown to the scientific audience, Leonardo is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the MIT Press, covering the application of contemporary science and technology to the arts and music.


Original Article

Yeast Biopaintings: Biofilms as an Artistic Instrument

Patrícia Noronha



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