Invisible Dust

London | Sunday 17 February
Pollution level:
Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /nfs/c03/h06/mnt/56485/domains/ on line 154

Things you don’t see but should



Curator Alice Sharp and artist Faisal Abdu'Allah at the awards ceremony in Mansion House 1st March 2012

Curator and Director Alice Sharp and artist Faisal Abdu’Allah at the Lord Mayor of London’s awards ceremony in Mansion House 1st March 2012

Invisible Dust is a not for profit organisation and involves leading artists, creative technologists and scientists exploring our environment and climate change to produce exciting art and science exhibitions and participatory events.


- Invisible Dust is a finalist in the 2013 Sustain’ magazine awards in the Communications category. The sustain’ Magazine Awards celebrate standout achievements and successes in the field of Sustainability and 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.


Alice Sharp has worked as an independent curator of projects with visual artists since 1997. Sharp set up Invisible Dust in 2009 as a collaboration with atmospheric chemist Professor Peter Brimblecombe, whom she met at Tipping Point (meeting of artists and  scientists on climate change). Invisible Dust is a not for profit organisation.

Contact or support us: we are developing an individual donor scheme through Arts Council Catalyst funding please get in touch at Also join our bimonthly e newsletter and opening invite mailing list at the bottom of the page.

Four upcoming projects 2013/14

1. Mariele Neudecker  is collaborating with Professor Alex Rogers of Oxford University and writer Gretel Ehrlich on unmapped terrains such as the Deep Sea and the Arctic. The resulting artworks are being presented at ‘HOUSE’ at the Brighton Festival until 26th May.

2. Elizabeth Price is in residence with space scientist Dr Hugh Mortimer at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and creating her first new work since winning the Turner Prize 12.

3. Phil Coy will develop his own artwork and is working on ‘Invisible Waves’ with year 9 students from Hounsdown School, Southampton on videos about Dr Mortimer’s satellite measuring of sea surface temperatures crucial to understanding climate change with  Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory, and Elizabeth Jeavans, former education manager at the Royal Society.

4. Invisible Heat

Our new project on the health affects of Climate Change has just been awarded research funding by the Wellcome Trust and a Dialogue Day took place on 8th May. Artists Adam Chodzko, Semiconductor, Gordon Cheung, Kasia Molga, Natalie Jeremijenko and Ellie Harrison 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. Together they will explore health and climate models, predictions of future warming and the consequences.

Previous projects: ‘Invisible Breath’ 2010/12

Our major project to date was a series of art commissions on breathing and air pollution. 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. Our estimated audience for the past year’s projects is 300,000 people directly attending and 3 million on line through press coverage. See Breathe

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.


6 Responses to “Things you don’t see but should”

  1. I like the invisible dust concept and the artists’ work you put together to elaborate on it. Would like to get involved if you capture something of your interest in my site at
    If you like humour, visual play at the edge between reason and absurdity and an overall interest in social ecology, you might find something there.
    In any case, well done and good luck to you!


  2. Bonnie Hoag says:


    An English, sculptor friend sent me this website.

    I am an artist/activist in eastern New York state, USA.

    My activism is currently raising public awareness re: the “invisible dust” of the geoengineering technique called Solar Radiation Management. This is presently offered through our educational program “Who Owns the Weather?’

    The artist in me would like to collaborate with you… in part to soothe and nourish the activist in me – who is starved for fun and for intellectual playfulness and stimulation!

    So. Hello…

    Bonnie Hoag
    The Bonnefire Coalition
    website is accessible at

  3. [...] film is the second in a series called Invisible Dust. Earlier this year in the run up to the Olympic Games, London artist Faisal Abdu’Allah, also [...]

  4. [...] film is the second in a series called Invisible Dust. Earlier this year in the run up to the Olympic Games, London artist Faisal Abdu’Allah, also [...]

  5. [...] film is the second in a series called Invisible Dust. Earlier this year in the run up to the Olympic Games, London artist Faisal Abdu’Allah, also [...]

  6. [...] founded by Alice Sharp, the curator and director. Read about their mission and incredible concept here. There’s also a great review in the [...]

Leave a Reply