Curious Kombucha

Feature image
'Plankton Diptych' detail, Zela Bissett

Curious Kombucha

Zela Bissett


A highly original exhibition that links artist Zela Bissett’s concerns for the health of our oceans, with a conviction that we can produce an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use plastic.

Giant versions of coccoliths made from dried Kombucha film, provide an artistic representation that in some ocean regions plastic particles now outnumber plankton by several hundreds to one. Aquatic filter feeders are now consuming more plastic that plankton, and the long-term effects of this on ocean food chains are unknown.

In an eloquent “plea for plankton”, Zela calls upon each of us to act for the seas! 

The dried Kombucha film (pellicle) is essentially a bioplastic formed from the SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast), of the fermented drink, Kombucha. When dried, the pellicle (fleshy growth on top of the culture) is surprisingly strong, flexible and translucent, and can be moulded, shaped, stitched and used in a variety of ways.

Zela Bissett makes the kombucha in her kitchen and shapes it into forms resembling marine phytoplankton called coccoliths scaled up. The message portrayed is that alternative materials are available that could greatly reduce our impacts on the planetary ecosystems.


official opening

11am, Saturday, 18 March 2023. Find out more here. 


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