Nikki Romanello is a fine artist, who creates art pieces using science knowledge. Lately she has been working with a Kombuch (tea-mashroom) to create a “living paper.” She believes that by using once living materials in her work, she gives them a chance for a second life.
2.Nikki Romanello, 27, is a fine artist, who uses science to create an art pieces.
She believes that by using once living materials in her work, she gives them a chance for a second life. The “life after death.”
Romanello grew up in suburbs of Taxes. Being close to nature, she developed a strong passionate interest for the remains of organic life. She started from collecting bones, shells, animal and plant remains and later used that in her work. She graduated from Maryland Institute of College of Art in Baltimore, where she was experimenting with metal sculpture. Later, she continued pursuing her sculpture passion at Pratt Institute in New York.
Now Romanello again works closely with a science aspect of her art. She casts real animal and even human bones in glycerin, creates soap bones and puts together hybrid skeletons.
Romanello’s bones obsession explains by the loss of her dog—Willow. The dig had a bone cancer and Romanello had to deal with a lot of Willos’s X-rays, that forever stuck in her mind and later showed in her works.
She recently started taking an interest in fermentation. She created a “living paper” from brewing a tea-mushroom –Kombucha. Romanello used this leathery substance in her tubeworm sculpture and skeletal imprints created for a Cut/Paste/Grow art-science show at the Brooklyn Observatory.
Romanello takes a great interest in death and all processes accompanying dying. She believes that nothing really ever dies, but just changes forms and continues a life cycle. Through her art, Romanello denies the fear of death and praises life.
3. A second Chance For Life. Nikki Romanello, a modern bio-artist.
[00.03]To understand death, you have to understand where you came from.
[00.08] There is a lot of amazing stuff happening right now in science. And I really want people to know about it. And I think, the only way I know how- is to communicate through my work.
[00.20] I work with natural beast remains. Things left over from animals mostly like bones and shells, and teeth. I usually take those and make molds of them.
[00.33] Every artist work, there is always a personal story that comes behind it.
[00.38] I had adapted a Grey Hound and she died of bone cancer. And I was looking…and during that time, when we were trying to figure out what was wrong with her, I was looking on a lot of X-rays. And that image burned in my mind and that’s when it started showing up in my work.
[01.02] I brewed my first Kombucha. So it is yeast and bacteria together who are super happy and they are producing this thriving culture. Then I layd it over an epoxy plate I have made a skeleton embossing in it. And it picked up all the details. And that’s when I started being like- ok, this could actually be an amazing art material.
[01.28] The idea of the show was to introduce bio-art. People who are very religious or very conservative tend to be fearful of the progression in science. Everyone else seems to be pretty interested in it. Bio-art, you know, is not something to be feared.
[01.50] You are living and then you slowly dying and then you die. But all the cells in your body go into something living.
[01.58] So it is like dealing with my dog’s death.
Sound bite: [02.02] This was my childhood dog, this is Lily. She was a Toxirn, she lived for 18 years.
[02.10] You don’t actually die. You know, you give something else life. And that is also a really amazing thing.
Artwork and Bio of the artist: nikkiromanello.com/
The Cut/Paste/Grow bio-art show :observatoryroom.org/
For people curios of citizen science: genspace.org/projects
I found out that i brewed Kombucha myself she i wan in a middle school. That was a project for a biology class. I didn't even know that you can so so many interesting,fascinating things with it.