Saturday 22nd May 2021 to
Sunday 13th June 2021
Bryony Gillard’s Unctuous between fingers is a moving image work that explores the archive of pressed seaweeds and algae held by the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, collected predominantly by women in the mid-1800s. ‘Seaweeding’, a gendered hobby, was considered a creative pastime of little importance. However, many of the collectors made a significant contribution to marine botany, meticulously recording specimens and sharing their findings generously with the predominantly male scientific community. Unable to publish their findings under their own names, these women ‘seaweeders’ were unrecognised at the time and have since been widely forgotten, yet their legacy lives on in the collection. Made through a process of archival research and collaboration with marine biologists, philosophers, activists and enthusiasts, Unctuous between fingers asks what we can learn from seaweed, its myriad uses and life-giving properties. Originally commissioned by the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter, Unctuous between fingers will be shown at St Andrews Church, Gravesend for Estuary 2021.