From Soil to Stem: A Succession Story

From Soil to Stem: A Succession Story

by Reed Thomas

From Soil to Stem: A Succession Story depicts a forest undergoing the successional stages of reestablishing itself. Thanks to nutrient cycling and nitrogen-fixing microbes, this community was reestablished. The series runs left to right beginning with the presence of pioneer species and ending with the presence of a climax community. Without these microscopic, yet vital, organisms, landscapes of burnt trees and starving herbivores would still be littering our unique environments here in Alaska.

The artwork was made using microbial stains, watercolor paper, and black framing. Stains are used to view microbes under microscopes, however, these pieces highlight and reveal their enormous importance in supporting plant life. The trees are the stained organisms because they are the product of microbial efforts. Safranin, crystal violet, methylene blue, Gram’s Iodine, and malachite green were the stains I used.

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