Rotifers are fascinating creatures; evolutionary mysteries that survive through endurance and adaptations.When the rotifer is attacked by predatory fungus it dries up and is carried away in the wind to a new environment. It shatters its DNA, allowing it to pick up DNA from its surroundings.

This inflatable artwork by Nicole Anona Banowetz gives a microscopic view on the circle of life of rotifers. In a way, this installation represents the circle of life of nature in general as well. The DNA as an information carrier functions as a beautiful analogy, especially in our contemporary society where access to information is more ubiquitous than ever.

 Rotifers, by Nicole Banowetz, Amsterdam. Photo by Janus van den Eijnden

About the artist

Nicole Banowetz (1981) is a Denver sculptor who makes sewn inflatable sculptures and delicate assembled forms. Her artwork addresses vulnerability and struggle. She empowers objects through embellishment, building up protective layers, which with time become destructive. Her forms move freely between growth and decay blurring the distinction between decoration and disease. Nicole’s work is inspired by the natural world. She addresses human qualities while using the imagery she finds in the animal, plant, mineral, and bacterial worlds. She has made installations inspired by bacteria, parasitic fungus, viruses, radiolaria, rotifers, horses, and rhinos. All these forms she recreates in soft inflatable sculptures, which she designs and sews on her sewing machine, sometimes adding illumination from within so that the forms glow at night, and other times adding delicate sculpted porcelain forms which balance within or on top of the inflatable.

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© Matthias Lindh
© Clemens Wildschut
© Janus van den Eijnden