Dr Heba el Aziz is a contemporary artist based in Cairo, Egypt, working with experimental media, in particular biological media. Her work focuses on the challenge of developing links between the art and science communities across the Arab world. She works with microorganisms as a means of raising issues about identity and culture and her artworks change over time, reflecting human life. I love her work, and she approaches it with such an interesting angle. I never would have thought that microorganisms could be used to represent cultural issues – but then before this module I was unaware that science and art mixed so regularly!
Heba El Aziz’s work – ‘The bio icons’ is a Bioart work made of living media, it contains icons who affected positively and negatively in the Egyptian reality in two different times on several levels, the backgrounds of the pictures was shaped through color and textural reactions done by living bacteria that reacted with the surrounding atmosphere as well as the pictures itself, making the effect of the rust on the pictures representing the old times leaving us the memory of the golden impact, while it grows strongly and obviously on the surface of the pictures representing the new one making a noise imposing it’s temporary presence in a bio changeable artwork contains a real life cycle pass by growth and declination stages till it reaches vanishing then the artwork dies leaving only it’s impact.
I really love this idea, and the use of the petri-dishes as a form of contained canvas works incredibly well – on initial impact it is instantly aesthetically pleasing and it’s easy to forget that they are there as both a safety precaution and as a scientific control. It is similar to our work in the fact that Heba is handing over all artistic control to the bacteria she is using – she simply sets the stage and allows the piece to follow its ‘natural’ course.