‘Sensorial Skins’ focuses on the sculptural capacities of everyday organic materials: skins, membranes and biofilms. Sensorial Skins are complex surfaces of contact. They arouse our senses through their materiality, their textures, their pigments and their smells.
Some of these fabrics are grown by bacteria, others are the result of transformative processes reminiscent of an alchemical practice but now grounded in fieldwork and scientific methodology.

Sensorial Skin at Pilar – Installation shot:
Body-I (metal, Bacterial Skins, natural pigments – diam. 125cm x 230cm h) and Visible/Invisible (Bacterial Skin on cotton – 1500cm x 3000cm) – photo ©Silvia Cappellari

These membranes and skins are interfaces between the inside and the outside, between the human and the vegetal, between the macroscopic and the microscopic.
With a flair of everyday aesthetics, the installations transform the natural in the cultural. They translate collaborative practices between humans and micro-organisms; they show dried and processed macro-algae woven into new shapes and materials and they unveil the processes by which everyday organic matter is transformed into tactile bio fabrics.
In turn, these newly shaped materials become the elements for soft sculptures, their pigments catching the sunlight when draped over metal structures. They invite us to touch them. They live. Their responsive biomaterials shrink, harden or soften in response to the humidity and temperature of their environment.

Sensorial Skins exhibition at Pilar: Play with Squares, Three in a Row (agar agar, natural pigments and organic additives, bookbinders mesh, metal) – photo ©Silvia Cappellari

In ‘Sensorial Skins’ the alchemical element of the earth is omnipresent, plunging the viewer into earthly colours, materials and textures. It is the first chapter of a double exhibition, of which the second part ‘Woven by Nature’, is taking place at iMAL / Art Center for Digital Cultures & Technology, from 29 April to 16 May.

Concept and Artworks: AnneMarie Maes
Curation: Camilla Colombo (Ohme)
Technical Support: Erland Jacobsen
Production: SO-ON vzw

With the support of the Flemish Government