Last week I took part in the Night of Art and Science in Leiden. During this yearly event the old city center of Leiden is turned into a cabinet of curiosities, where young & old meet to explore art and science.


For one night we turned the restaurant of L.V.V.S. Augustinus into a gallery and workshop. We showcased our project Living Colour and organised a free workshop that visitors could take part in. In the workshop we tried to make the invisible world visible, by letting visitors make imprints of their hand and fingers in petri dishes. Almost 100 people participated in the workshop!


The microbes had to grow and multiply for about 3 days. Then the first results were visible. Here are some of the most striking results. These microbes are a mix of bacteria, yeast and moulds. And as you can see some of the microbes are pigmented in yellow and red. These could possibly be used to colour textiles.

Most of the microbes naturally occur on our skin. Around 30 species of fungi and 150 species of bacteria live on our hands. Our microbes composition is unique to each individual, just like a fingerprint. There are ten times more microbes in our body than there are human cells. Together, they make up about 1.5 kilograms of our total body weight. 99% of these microbes keep us healthy!

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