Sonja Hindrum, Interrupted

click on the image to watch Sonja’s video.

Interrupted, digital image, bacterial cellulose (BC) or SCOBY (SCOBY, Symbiotic Colony of bacteria and Yeast) bacterial cellulose mask 15cmx20cm

My timeline for this year and goals set out had nothing to-do with a global pandemic, fear, unimaginable death tolls, grief, heartache, confusion, isolation.

2020 was to be full of music and developing instruments made from bacterial cellulose. I was going to be presenting research at other universities, I was going to be performing at festivals and working with people in studios. Now I am working behind a keyboards and screens, learning so many different platforms to stay connected with physical distancing. Now when I need to step from the safety of my home there is fear and anxiety screaming from every cell as I breathe through masks and constantly scrub my hands.

The collection of works currently titled Interrupted have been a direct and emotive response to the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions. Interrupted is a series of face masks that have been made following the online tutorials generated during lockdown for DIY (Do It Yourself) face masks. These masks have been digitally documented using apps that have also become popular during lockdown. Once documented, the masks have been mounted on boards and sit similar to collection of trophies out of respect for the bacterial cellulose, a material that I have been able to grow safely in my own home, that can not only offer me inner protection from the probiotics generated in the fermentation process, but also offers a material that can be worked with in so many different ways. Bacterial cellulose is similar to paper, leathers, cardboards and even timbers depending on how you work with the bacteria.

Youtube link

Sonja Hindrum

Sonja is a Launceston based artist and designer who over the years has developed site-specific artworks and costumes for various companies. Her more recent works have been exploring human connections and working with an Art [Science] focus exploring interdisciplinary approaches to community art [science] engagements.  Sonja is currently a PHD student (SoCA – School of Creative Arts University of Tasmania) and working with the School of Design & Architecture (SoDA – UTAS) and her academic research is looking at the materiality of bacterial cellulose.

The acknowledgement of a human-centred approach to consumption and the current cultural awakening to human culpability regarding global environmental crisis, is generating new sustainable approaches to design thinking. Co-creation could extend beyond the domination of human-centred collaboration and design research could be more aware of interspecies design interactions. This may create situations that go beyond cross-disciplinary collaborations and the processes of design and may also acknowledge equally the agents involved in the partnerships.

The lockdown and fear of the virus has meant that my creative work is directly responding to wanting protection.