Landscapes of our Lives

You are host to around 1,000,000,000,000,000 microbes

Our bodies are an enormous microbial community, known as the microbiome, consisting of trillions of bacteria, viruses and other microbes. Contours of the body’s undulating surface host a huge diversity of microbes taking residence in the various terrains of our bodily countryside. The variations of the surface play home to a variety of different microbes, just like the rainforest differs from the desert, so does the armpit to the elbow. We are an ecosystem, an analogy of our bodies not too dissimilar to that of the fragile nature of our planet.

Symbiosis, 2015 by Rebecca D. Harris
Data from Professor Wilson
Planning material for Symbiosis by Rebecca D Harris
Detail shot of Symbiosis by Rebecca D. Harris

when in the womb we are microbe free, 100% human

How we are delivered has its impact, as demonstrated by how our gut bacteria differs greatly of those delivered by caesarean section compared to those receiving their first microbial seeding through the birth canal. Following this first journey, as you would guess, Mother Nature gives mother another tool for ensuring a healthy microbial life and this is through breastfeeding. We have a symbiotic relationship between baby’s gut health and the milk its mother is producing, this is what inspired the title of the artwork.

Rhizome, 2015 by Rebecca D. Harris



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Rebecca Harris

Rebecca Harris


A creative of many sorts. Artist with a passion for public engagement of biomedical sciences — Creative director for