by Effie Paleologou

Artist Effie Paleologou has turned London’s streets and pavements into her laboratory, recording specimens of discarded chewing gum with the eye of a forensic detective. Based on the hypothesis that saliva is a DNA carrier she has approached each piece of gum evidence as a unique mark of identity.

The resulting images are reminiscent of geological formations where the sense of distance is unclear, sifting constantly between close and far, micro and macro. What might be a telescopic view of the constellations of the cosmos could equally be a Petri-dish seen through a microscope.

Paleologou is mapping the city through the debris of its anonymous inhabitants. Each has left an intimate marker of their passing to create numerous fossil-like residues, clinging to the pavement for posterity, while ever being reshaped and eroded.

As well as displaying images from the Microcosms series for MOUTHY, Paleologou explored the subject of her work, the discarded gum, with researchers from King’s College London.

Effie was also joined in conversation with author and filmmaker Iain Sinclair on 3 November in Guy’s Chapel. Iain’s short essay ‘The Cosmological Eye,’ about Effie’s earlier realisation of Microcosms, was published in Photomonitor magazine on September 2015. Effie and Iain discussed the themes explored in Microcosms and explored what the Science Gallery London commission added to this artwork.


Effie Paleologou is a London-based visual artist , whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens.

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