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Moss Map

Images from the ‘Proximity’ exhibition At Abingdon Studios 26 Aug – 16 September 2021. The ‘Moss Map’ and bottle terrariums were created as part of the bryophytes project at Gallery Oldham.

‘Moss Map’ 2021,’Installation detail. Image: Matt Wilkinson
‘Moss Map’ 2021,’Installation detail. Image: Matt Wilkinson
‘Moss Map’ 2021,’Installation detail. Image: Matt Wilkinson
‘Moss Map’ 2021,’Installation detail. Image: Matt Wilkinson
‘Moss terrairums’ 2021,’Installation detail. Image: Matt Wilkinson
‘Moss terrairums’ 2021,’Installation detail. Image: Matt Wilkinson
‘Moss terrairums’ 2021,’Installation detail. Image: Matt Wilkinson

I was introduced to the concept of walking as research through a Proximity workshop [led by Anne Carragher] during the first COVID lockdown in 2020. I walked around the block and collected mosses with which to make a terrarium in a bottle. This idea became the basis for the Bryophytes project with Gallery Oldham, during which I re-collected moss specimens [bryophytes] from sites that were popular with collectors in the 1800s.

The new specimens will be identified, catalogued and added to their natural history collection. In addition to collecting dry specimens, I kept live samples, which I cultivated in sealed terrariums using whatever bottles I could find, creating a living museum.  I made the moss map [a work in progress] to connect the collection sites and document my experience while also enabling the work to be recreated in the future.

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