New commission — Unio Pictorum / Painter’s Mussel


Bigert & Bergström recently won competition to create a new sculptural work for Stångåbro in Linköping, Sweden. The work consists of a 100:1 scale geometric version of a Painter’s Mussel, a mollusk on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is called Painter’s Mussel because the shell was historically used as a small palette for holding artist’s paint. Bigert & Bergström’s mussel will hold a light color spectrum on its shell, which changes with the fluctuation of the water quality in the creek below. The mussel is an imperative species for filtering the water and its shell functions as a climate archive by storing water data in its year rings. Nowadays, climate scientists study these shells to identify how the pH-value and oxygen level of the water have changed in the past.

This work is an extension of the artist duo’s interest to publicly highlight overlooked animal species, which play an important role in biodiversity of the local site, but also for the climate in general.

The work will be realized in fall 2020.

Related Content