Myxo Flags

The patterns on these flag tile ceramics mark the passage of slime mold exploring outlines of the Union Jack — Britain’s national flag. Slime molds are giant single-celled amoebas that form delicate networks of protoplasmic veins as they crawl around the forest floor. Often overlooked, they are transient creatures with a strange and alien appearance. Slime molds can ingest colorant oxides, adding that pigment to their own bright yellow bodies. They move across surfaces to find food and favorable habitats and can be persuaded to follow a chosen path. As they explore, differently colored slime molds merge and fuse into one individual, the contents of their veins pulsing, mixing, and eventually staining the porcelain beneath. The flags were created during a time of unification and division, acceptance and rejection, particularly with respect to national identity and my immigration experience from the United Kingdom to the United States in 2015. This snapshot in time took on greater nuance with the rise of nationalism in both countries and the double whammy of Brexit and Trump in 2016.

 

You Ess Kay. 2015. 12″ x 6”. Painted porcelain tile with pigment repainted by giant amoeba.

The slime mold’s patterning is an attempt at stitching together two living identities; British and American. Each state’s star contained a small pigmented individual slime mold, they fused into one entity and grew over the tile pulsing veins across a hybrid flag as they went.


 

Breaks It. 2015. 12″ x 6”. Painted porcelain tile with pigment repainted by giant amoeba.

An omen of things to come, this rust-veined Union Jack tile cracked during firing echoing feelings of betrayal, both mine and theirs.


 

Jack’s Veins. 2015.12” x 6”. Porcelain tile with pigments applied by giant amoeba.

An exploration of where my sense of self lies and what it has to do with my country of origin – the sensation is both ephemeral and embedded. Slime mold draws a roadmap of connections across the porcelain reducing the Union Jack to a lacy meshwork of blue and red oxides.


 

Leap and Fade to Black. 2015.12” x 6”. Porcelain tile with pigment applied by giant amoeba.

A crack crosses this tile patterned with black veins loosely following the Union Jack layout.


 

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