diana scherer manipulates plant roots to grow into intricate, lace-like arrangements
 

diana scherer manipulates plant roots to grow into intricate, lace-like arrangements

 

as an investigation into the relationship between man and nature, german artist diana scherer has developed a process by which plant roots are grown into intricate, textile-like patterns. the project ‘interwoven’ involves the careful channeling of root systems to create braids, spirals and delicate motifs. ‘for the past few years my fascination has mainly been focused on the dynamics of below-ground plant parts,’ she says. ‘I’ve been captivated by the root system, with its hidden, underground processes; it is considered to be the brain of the plant by plant neurobiologists.’

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in collaboration with biologists and ecologists from the radboud university in nijmegen, scherer developed a growth process that causes roots to conform to a specifically-designed pattern. weaving and braiding themselves beneath the ground, the roots are then unearthed and photographed to illustrate their ornamentation.

 

the project was inspired by charles darwin, one of the first researches to study the behavior of plants. ‘in his book the power of movements of plants, he describes how roots do not passively grow down, but move and observe,’ scherer describes. ‘a root navigates, knows what’s up and down, observes gravity and localizes moisture and chemicals. darwin discovered that plants are a lot more intelligent, than everybody thought. for contemporary botanists, this buried matter is still a wondrous land. there is a global investigation to discover this hidden world. I also want to explore it and apply the ‘intelligence’ of plants in my work.’

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