Lichens, the barely noticed organisms that are a ubiquitous presence in Malta’s urban areas, are about to take centre stage. They are being used as artistic muses for Lichen It!, a project which is serving as an introduction to urban ecology by highlighting the close relationship between nature and art. Lichens can be thought of as being nature’s very own work of art, being so varied both in structure and colour. This project has enabled artists to collaborate with members of the community to produce artwork using lichens as a source of inspiration.
Lichens will take to the streets of Valletta during Science in the City and Notte Bianca, where people will be invited to take part in an exciting scavenger hunt to find these lichen-inspired art pieces and get involved in hands-on science and art-inspired activities. A street in Valletta will be lit up with fluorescent lichen-inspired chewing gum art, a tree will serve as a host for pieces of lichen-shaped crocheted artwork and a large lichen mural made up of lichen photos will adorn one of the walls of a building around Valletta.
Lichen It! is being organised through the NGO Fingerprints, and is supported by the Small Initiatives Support Scheme (MCVS), Friends of the Earth Malta and Science in the City. Science in the City is an EFFE recognised festival which is organised by the University of Malta, Malta Chamber of Scientists, and Research Trust (RIDT), together with a host of partners and sponsors, and funded by the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action of the Horizon 2020 (H2020) Programme (2014–2020).