Our huge ceramic ‘breathing’ sculpture pays homage to one of the world’s smallest but most important organisms: the cyanobacteria. Artist duo Studio Swine wanted to build a monument to these vital but invisible unsung heroes, in the same way as notable people are commemorated with statues. 

Three billion years ago the cyanobacteria started to produce oxygen – which changed the face of the Earth forever. Today they, and their distant descendants found in plants and phytoplankton, provide the oxygen in every breath we take. Without them we would not be here.

At over eight metres tall, Infinity Blue is one of the world’s largest ceramic sculptures. Come and see if you can catch one of its vapour rings!

Narrative from the exhibit

The cyanobacteria were the first to perform oxygenic photosynthesis and produce oxygen. Today they still float in our seas and their descendants reside inside every living green plant: they are the chloroplasts. They capture sunlight and combine it with water and carbon dioxide to make an energy source; sugar and building blocks that make flowers, trees, crops and eventually all animals- including us. Their only waste product- oxygen.

Infinity Blue:

  • Carries patterns of the sea
  • Takes the form of a stromatolite (a massive stack of fossilised cyanobacteria)
  • Is covered in cyan dots representing the cyanobacteria
  • Produces vapour rings that represent oxygen  - that cyanobacteria and their descendants have been producing for three billion years
  • Is a vast statue that pays homage to the invisible lifeforms that provide the oxygen in every breath we take in the same way that famous people are often represented in statues.

Invisible Worlds exhibition

Infinity Blue is part of our permanent Invisible Worlds exhibition, which reveals a world beyond your senses – too big, too small, too fast, too slow, too far away in space and time. Find out more about our Invisible Worlds exhibition.

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