Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Ella Sexton 

BA [Hons] Art

Ella Sexton is a visual artist, living in Wicklow. She specialises in printmaking and has been attending an internship with Graphic Studio Dublin throughout her final year. She has a keen interest within the domain of Bio-Art, absorbing inspiration from varied fields of biology, including microbiology, botany and cell biology. By incorporating these sources of inspiration into the unique expressiveness of print, she aims to produce a fusion of science and art. She has previously exhibited in The Place Project, IMMA Studios (2021), Memories exist outside of time, DIVA, Dun Laoghaire (2023) and In the making: Aorta, Pallas Projects/Studios (2024).

Project Description

My final year project focuses on the unseen parts of nature, revealing the worlds within worlds, the microscopic cosmos of bacteria and fungi. This is to serve as both an expressive and scientific collection of prints.
This body of work is sourced from petri dish samples I have created, from organic matter within forestry lands, that I have swabbed and incubated. I have then studied and watched the bacteria and fungi colonies grown in the petri dish under a microscope lens.
Using the technique of printmaking as my core medium, it creates an exciting sense of unpredictability, allowing the plate to determine the outcome. Merging the intriguing experimentation of print and the wonder of the microbial realm, gaining an understanding of the natural world and our place among other organisms on this planet.
In using nature to understand nature, I have created a microbial landscape, from petri dish to print.

Thesis Title: Bio-Art as Nature's Canvas: Potentially The Most Naturally Expressive Form of Art?

My thesis is about Biology Art, the use of living matter within artistic practice. The aim for this research is to bring to people’s attention the purpose of Bio-Art within art now and art of the future, as it is currently facing challenges in gaining acceptance and recognition among many within the art and public audience.
This research paper is posing an argumentative question, could Bio Art potentially be the most naturally expressive form of art?
In using this question, throughout the research, it debates and examines with examples of many bio artists within the field, and their practices. What is considered natural? Expressive does not always mean natural, but how does one define what is natural and what is not? Or what is moral and immoral? This body of research observes many aspects of the bio art movement, both positive and negative.