Seaweed is so familiar and yet its names – pepper dulse, sea lettuce, bladderwrack – are largely unknown to us.
In this short, exquisitely illustrated portrait, the Dutch poet and artist Miek Zwamborn shares her discoveries of its history, culture and use, from the Neolithic people of the Orkney Islands to sushi artisans in modern Japan. Seaweed troubled Columbus on his voyages across the Atlantic, intrigued von Humboldt in the Sargasso Sea and inspired artists from Hokusai to Matisse. Covering seaweed's collection by Victorians, its adoption into fashion and dance and its potential for combating climate change.
Miek Zwamborn is an artist, novelist and poet. She lives and works on the Isle of Mull, in the Hebrides, where she runs a project working to explore the natural environment – and particularly its bountiful seaweed – with scientists, designers and artists.
"A very special, little, cute, moving but splendid book."
– Shortlisting for Jan Wolkers Prijs 2018
"a treasure chest filled with fascinating, horizon-widening, mind-expanding curiosities and moments of awe and wonder on every page. Zwambown is an artist-polymath: erudite, wide-ranging and magpie-like. She takes us underwater to a world of iridescence rainbow weed, sea monsters, space algae and world-saving kelp. She opens up the sea for us with an intriguing mixture of cultural and natural history, acute observations and enchanting illustrations and challenges us to slow down and engage in a radical noticing and joy of seeing we all need. I am now completely obsessed by seaweed."
– Lucy Jones author of Losing Eden