BioART Student Work: Paper Laboratory

COVID Suit: Stay-At-Home Paper Laboratory with Dr. Jennifer Willet
Written by: Nate Talbot
Featured image by: Lauren Szucki

The paper theatre was developed by the INCUBATOR team as a response to social isolation and lack of access to lab spaces brought on by the pandemic. For the first assignment in our Winter 2021 Bioart class, the students were asked to participate in our workshop to build a miniature cut-out of the INCUBATOR Art lab and create bioart inspired artworks. Below are a few examples of our student’s responses!

Lauren Szucki
Lauren has an interest in ornithology, so she thought of a way to incorporate birds into her project. Lauren took her paper theatre to the Ojibwe Prairie Complex and put sunflower seeds and peanuts in and around the theatre. Lauren spent a total of 6 hours observing how animals interacted with the theatre, and discovered that most of the birds were hesitant to enter the structure. Lauren cataloged the types of animals that came to feed-- included were woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, and squirrels. The project made Lauren think about how animals respond to human-made environments, but the project confirmed her suspicions that the animals would not.

Nicole Van Rooyen
Nicole’s response was inspired by the idea that the winter is actually a season that holds a lot of hidden beauty and life. Nicole printed the lab in a wintery-blue cardstock and decorated the interior with snow as well as perennial plants including evergreen and pine trees. She then coloured the snow with food colouring.

Brianne McCurdy
For Brianne’s project, she collaborated with her two-year-old nephew to decorate the paper lab with a variety of items including fruit, dried flowers, and melons cut into the shape of flowers. She then put the lab outside to discover that the squirrels ate most of the fruit.