Saberah Malik:

It is indeed an auspicious and invaluable moment when a hitherto missing link in understanding divine and human creativity, in understanding the origins and sustenance of life, becomes a forceful tool for visual communication.


I had been searching for that elusive connection of external stimuli to bond with my desire to integrate a culture of devotion and appreciation of natural phenomena into my creative content. The answer has been the introduction to oceanographic science, which for me, made the invisible visible, the seemingly inconsequential of the greatest consequence.


My science partner, Max Jahns’ research on phytoplankton is the basis of developing a new body of work in a symbiotic relationship of science and art, infusing it with a cultural embodiment of the sanctity of nature using my proprietary textile crafting method. Max’s research centers on the life cycle of phytoplankton, the health and balance of nutrients, viruses infecting the different species, water temperature, and ultimately, the essential dependence of all life to breathe clean air. Phytoplankton, through photosynthesis, exude more than fifty percent of the earth’s oxygen, a compelling subject to focus on.


From the first images Max shared with me, I have been awestruck with the physical beauty and diversity of phytoplankton, and the choreographic grace of their journey along the ocean currents. Some bio-luminous species transform shorelines into a dance of lights. This work is an introduction to these marvels of the deep.


In taking time to closely observe and absorb global societal histories, environmental motifs and occurrences, I imbue my art practice with intonations of friendship, compassion and generosity. Sensitivity to human and planetary conditions makes me a seeker, a thinker and a maker. Exploring diversity of surface and form, static geometry in mass production or subtle gesture and fluidity in natural shapes, I design ethereally luminous works of calm quietude as an antidote to, and respite from, global images of disease, destruction and mass migrations. To this quest, I have now added a desire to share with a wide audience the crucial role of oceanic health and our custodial responsibility for its upkeep.