Sargassum Tide

Sargassum Tide features works made using wireweed seaweed (Sargassum muticum) and Pacific oysters (Magallana gigas), two ‘non-native’ species currently thriving on the UK coastlines due to climate change.

Louise has collected these materials from her local coastline to create a new body of experimental work that shows the repercussions of human intervention on our fragile coastal ecosystems. The inspiration for the works comes from epibiosis – the close interaction between two different organisms, the host organism providing an environment for the other which is attached to its living surface.

Pacific oysters were introduced to the UK for farming in the 1970s. They brought with them wireweed seaweed which was thought to have been attached to the oyster shells. At the time it was believed that it would not flourish, but since the rise in sea temperature, these species can now bloom.

This project was made possible with an Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant. The works were first shown at Collect 2023, Somerset House, in March 2023 and will be shown next at The Margate School, April 2023.