Biological pigments – fungal mycelium, algae, plants and bacteria

In summer 2021, artist Amanda Selinder explored fungi, algae, bacteria and plants, in the Blåsenhus area of Uppsala. It was the point of departure for six large textile works that were exhibited on site, in autumn 2021.

In summer and autumn 2021, Amanda Selinder created a temporary artistic intervention in the Blåsenhus area of Uppsala. On the site behind Campus 1477 and adjacent to the Blåsenhus university building, Akademiska Hus and Uppsala University collaborated on a development project to support the area’s biodiversity. The flora and fauna have been examined, plantings have been carried out, insect and hedgehog hotels have been built and birdhouses have been installed on tree trunks. Wood from the dead trees will provide both insects and fungi with nourishment. Amanda Selinder’s temporary artistic intervention is an extension of the project.

During the summer, Amanda Selinder investigated fungi, algae, bacteria and plants that she found in the park and used them for dyeing textiles. She employed traditional dyeing methods such as boiling and sun tanning. In addition, she extracted pigment from bacteria and fungi, in a laboratory in the adjacent Evolutionary Biology Centre, EBC. The textiles became six large artworks that were installed on grass and in water in the Blåsenhus area in autumn 2021.

The Blåsenhus area is close to Uppsala Castle, the Botanical Garden and other environments with a strong connection to the history of Uppsala, the university and the research carried out there. Amanda Selinder’s work follows a long tradition of plant dyeing while at the same time focusing on a field of research where new discoveries are constantly being made. There is still much to learn about microorganisms and fungi and their significance for the environment and biological diversity.

A collaboration between Public Art Agency Sweden, Akademiska Hus and Uppsala University

The commitment to the artistic intervention in the Blåsenhus area was made possible by an in-depth collaboration between Public Art Agency Sweden and Akademiska Hus ensuring that, in an innovative way, art is at the forefront of the development of attractive campus areas. The project also encompasses a collaboration with Uppsala University.

On Amanda Selinder

Textile artist Amanda Selinder received her education at HDK, Academy of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg and at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Born in Tranås, she currently lives and works in Uppsala.