Invisible Dust

London | Friday 24 October
Pollution level: Moderate


Invisible Dust projects showreel from 2011-2014. Filmmaker Emma Crouch.

Invisible Dust works with leading artists and scientists to produce unique and exciting works of contemporary art exploring our environment.

Founder Director and Curator Alice Sharp set up Invisible Dust in 2009 with atmospheric chemist Professor Peter Brimblecombe University of East Anglia. Our average audience for each of our projects is 300,000 people attending and 3 million on line through regular coverage in national press.

We support the creation of new scientific ideas whilst engaging audiences with large scale exhibitions, education and community events. Our mission is to encourage awareness of, and responses to, climate change and the environment.

Invisible Dust Founder Alice Sharp with artists Adam Chodzko and Mariele Neudecker

Invisible Dust Founder Alice Sharp, centre, with artists Adam Chodzko and Mariele Neudecker at the British Science Festival in Newcastle in 2013.

Current projects 

‘Invisible Dust in Museums’: National Maritime Museum, Manchester Museum and Woodhorn Museum.

We are working with three UK museums, devising residencies and exhibitions with artists including Elizabeth Price, Phil Coy, HighWaterLine with Eve Mosher, Owl Project and Laura Harrington responding to the Museum’s programmes and collections.

1. HighWaterLine Bristol 2014, artist Eve Mosher. Residents have taken part in workshops on climate and flooding resilience and are now creating a public performance  9th-21st September 2014, as they physically chalk the high water mark set out by scientists of future flooding in Bristol.

2. Elizabeth Price is in residence with space scientist Dr Hugh Mortimer at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and creating her first new video work SUNLIGHT since winning the Turner Prize in 2012. SUNLIGHT includes photographs of the sun taken by scientists since 1900 and will evolve through each presentation by Price including at the Royal Observatory, Royal Museum’s Greenwich.

3. Phil Coy is developing a new artwork for the Royal Museums Greenwich on satellites with  Dr Marek Kukula, public astronomer at the Royal Observatory.

‘Disappearing Nature’ April – November 2014

Invisible Dust is collaborating with conservation charity Synchronicity Earth on a number of events including an exhibition in Duke St, London and art for an auction and Biophilia Ball. The aim is to raise awareness and conservation funding for the 50th Anniversary of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of endangered species worldwide. More info.

‘Invisible Heat on the health affects of Climate Change

The first research commission was by Adam Chodzko, an audio work on flooding co commissioned with Great North Run Culture. Rising, took place at the British Science Festival in September 2013. Ellie Harrison’s ‘Anti Capitalist Aerobics’ performance took place at ‘Ways of Seeing Climate Change’ in Manchester in October 13. Both were supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Future artworks are being planned for Edinburgh, Bristol, London and Manchester  2015-16 with artists Gordon Cheung, Kasia Molga, Adam Chodzko and Ellie Harrison who are collaborating with scientists Professor Paul Wilkinson, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Professor Frank Kelly, Environmental Health, King’s College London and Professor Kevin Anderson, Energy and Climate Change, Tyndall and Manchester University.

Previous projects: ‘Invisible Breath’ 2010/12

Invisible Breath a series of art commissions on breathing and air pollution supported by the Wellcome Trust. From 2010-12 three artists Dryden Goodwin, Faisal Abdu’Allah and HeHe produced artworks with scientists exploring air pollution it’s invisiblity and how it affects our breathing.

In 2011 HeHe looked at the affects of burning oil through a performance about the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster which was shown on BBC Look East news. In June 2011 Faisal Abdu’Allah’s ‘Double Pendulum’ premiered next to the London Olympic Stadium, and was covered by both the Guardian and the Huffington Post. In October 2012 Dryden Goodwin’s ‘Breathe’ an animation of 1300 drawings of his five year old son was projected large scale from St Thomas’ Hospital roof opposite the Houses of Parliament.

The artists projects were accompanied by art and science education activities with families, schools and young people around air quality. See Breathe


- Invisible Dust was a finalist in the 2013 Sustain’ magazine awards in the Communications category, other nominations include Land Securities and J. Sainsbury.

- In March 2012 Invisible Dust won the Lord Mayor of London’s UK Sustainable City Award presented for ‘outstanding contributions to enhancing air quality’ for its work in 2011.

- Invisible Dust was one of two organisations in the UK to be awarded a £120,000 from the Large Arts Award by the Wellcome Trust for the ‘Invisible Breath’  project 2010/12.

- Invisible Dust won a ‘Norwich eco award’ from Norwich City Council for artworks and outreach at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival in 2011.

Our mission

The mission of Invisible Dust is to encourage awareness of, and meaningful responses to, climate change, air pollution and related health, technological and environmental issues. It achieves this by facilitating a dialogue between visual artists, creative technologists and leading world scientists. Invisible Dust strives, through its creation of high impact and unique arts programmes, alongside developments in new technology and scientific theories, to create an accessible, imaginative and approachable forum and stimulus.

As well as supporting the creation of new scientific ideas, developing the relationships between creative technologists and artists and engaging audiences with large scale events, education and community activities, Invisible Dust’s works seek to raise awareness of the key climate change imperatives and objectives now being tackled by National and International Governments, Policy Makers, Charities, NGO’s, Global Corporations, Investors and Consumer groups.


Visibility plays a key role in trying to gain an understanding of the need to live sustainably and dramatically reduce climate change. Artists have many ways of making things visible and, particularly since the Land Art movement in the 1960s and 1970s (such as the ephemeral works of Richard Long and Robert Smithson) have responded to changes in the natural environment in a variety of forms.

ICT technologies are increasingly important in promoting low-carbon economic growth. Invisible Dust is developing cross platform commissions to explore what is seen as ‘art,’ and explore the boundaries of art practice and new media. Artists are increasingly exploiting data hacking and real time sensors. ICT has an enormous role to play in assisting how scientists research and monitor our environment and advances of technology such as smart buildings offer new sustainable ways of living.

Joseph Amato writes about ‘the visible world of dust.’ Amato contests that this informs our ‘perceptions of reality’. The invention of cleaning equipment and the modern day obsession with removing it has changed how we live our lives. Once dust was the smallest thing the eye could see, now our relationship with dust has dramatically changed due to powerful microscopic devices. For scientists, society’s transformation took place in the laboratory through the viewing of atoms, molecules, cells, and microbes; this also defined dust and the physical world for the first time but also our view of the human body and mind.

After the congestion charge was first implemented in central London the air became cleaner than before the charge had been implemented but no one could see the evidence, it had to be revealed by subtle statistical analysis. On a global scale the ice caps are melting, coral reefs and rain forests are being destroyed. In order for us to understand the consequences of our actions on the environment as human beings we need to ‘see’ the results.

In his research, Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and senior editor of Atmospheric Environment, Peter Brimblecombe from the University of East Anglia has discovered that children’s playgrounds are more polluted than the surrounding area due to the exhaust fumes from the parents’ cars at the school drop off. In addition, Professor Frank Kelly is conducting research into how air pollution effects not only our lungs, but is a cause of heart disease due to small diesel particles passing into the blood.

How can people understand their own effect on the environment when the resulting gases disappear into the sky? Since the industrial revolution there have been huge gains to society but also the creation of many of the gases that are now poisoning the earth. Invisible Dust brings together artists, technologists and scientists to help illuminate these consequences and bring a sense of something human and fantastical to very invisible problems.

Contact  us:

If you would like to contact Invisible Dust please get in touch at

Bimonthly e newsletter and opening invite mailing list at the bottom of the page.