Stunning images of seeds magnified through the lens of an electron microscope are set to be part of a new national exhibition focusing upon global efforts to safeguard plant species from extinction.
Seedscapes: Future-Proofing Nature features the work of five artists who have used photography, moving images and sculpture to reflect upon how biologists and ecologists are responding to the environmental crisis.
Curated by Liz Wells, Emeritus Professor in Photographic Culture at the University, Seedscapes opens to the public at Impressions Gallery in Bradford next month before embarking on a national tour that will culminate in Scotland next year.
“Seedscapes brings together art, biodiversity and eco-activism,”
says Liz, who has previously curated several exhibitions relating to land, landscape and environment.
“My hope is that viewers will gain a deeper understanding of the fragility of our natural world and the efforts that we need to make to protect it.”
That is a theme brought to life in vivid detail by the artists, including Heidi Morstang, whose film and photography showcase the work, landscape and prized collection at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. Located deep inside a former coal mine in the permafrost at Longyearbyen, the vault is the largest secure storage facility of its kind in the world, safeguarding one third of the globe’s food crop seeds.
Heidi, Associate Professor of Photography at Plymouth, first travelled there in 2013 to film the yearly delivery of food crop seeds to the vault, creating the film Prosperous Mountain, which will be shown at the exhibition.