Road Particulate Matter
Rotherhithe Tunnel, 2021
Used Cigarette Butts
London pavements, 2021
Exhibition in the Barbican Conservatory
Artist Sam Winston has spent the past few years exploring how London, its people and plants breathe. Tracing a web of connections, he has investigated how the complex relationship between the urban environment and the breath manifests in substances and living organisms as disparate as the aquatic plants of London’s waterways; particulate matter emitted in the fumes of petrol and diesel engines; discarded cigarette butts; and the survival responses of local trees such as oaks and London planes.
Winston collected specimens from each of these examples and transformed them into a range of inks, with which he drew images that reify the synergy between environment, breath and creativity.
“We are living through one of the most breath-aware periods in human history. Across the spectrum of communities and ways of life, people are realising how keenly the breath needs our attention, protection and care. The current environmental crisis and the coronavirus pandemic have highlighted the significance of this vital but vulnerable bodily function…
Text by Ellen Mara De Wachter
Road Particulate Matter Rotherhithe Tunnel, 2021
Particulate matter collected inside the Rotherhithe Tunnel under the River Thames is the tangible residue of London’s exhaust fumes. A refined assailant, it is the primary ingredient in an ink that paints a fine-grained, almost photographic, image. As precise on paper as in its ability to penetrate the tissues of our lungs where, almost imperceptible, it can have devastating effects.
Road particulate matter 1000ml of distilled water
Alongside the Barbican Exhibition 18 artist folios were produced with an essay text by Ellen Mara De Wachter and original Ink drawings are on 230gsm Zerkall mould made printmaking paper. Artist prints are on 170gsm Awagami Bamboo organic paper 59cm x 60cm. Bound at Book Works, London. Produced in 2022 by Arc Artist Editions, London