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Back to the Mould consists of slides (kodachrome and Ektachrome) illustrating mainly the city of Melbourne were suffered the onslaught of moulds.

On some images, traces of the original photography remained visible while on a majority of them the shapes and colours were altered in a chaotic, spectacular, artistic way. A biological remix.

Contemporary artists have explored natural processes of deterioration and transformation in many compelling ways. Both the passage of time and the aesthetics of deterioration have been widely explored through artistic practices over the last seventy years.


From my young age I shoot and develop photographs. Recently I discovered the power of the "mould". Fungus is happily proliferated by slowly feeding on the protein gelatin covering the plasticized surface of the films (collagen).

The effects can be reproduce in a short time scale. The main of the project is to analyse and understand the mould interaction with the film but the goal is to control the effects and create a new type of photography. Where the canvas are slides and the brush is the mould, the nature. After shooting in Kodachrome and Ektachrome film the slides are moulded for few weeks or months.

I will be very honoured to reveal to you these mould masterpieces, the result of a fascinating collision between physics, chemistry, biology and recycling art.

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I hold a PHd in high energy particle physics, with a focus on the new generation of particle accelerators, exploration of dark matter, new particles, and I am currently employed by the Melbourne University.

However, I have been practicing photography from a young age, working with a variety of analogue cameras and film stock.


The main of this project is to explore the potentiality of the mould, first with a laboratory with strict scientific finding such as chemical laboratories, second, I intend to create a new natural art based on slide pictures. A special collection will be printed on Chromalux aluminium plate and it will donated to the city of Melbourne a certain number of copies will be also available to everybody. 

Based on more than 30 years of analog photography experience, a long-term aim will be to run an art workshop and publishing scientific papers of my research and thus creating a foundation for others to build on.


STEAM, Science technology engineering arts and mathematics, is the buzzy word at the moment and I am definitely follow it.


Be ready, based on my previous experience with the VolMeur (first mould project) exhibitions, the collection, the public talks and workshops are target for groups like school-children, suburban, regional and outer-metro audiences.

Everybody, from 5 years upwards have been fascinated by these pictures, the common questions is “what is that?”, and the answer is easy , “we don’t know”.

I always point out that they are not digital, just a combination of classic photography and microorganism that need to eat, these pictures are alive, you can see something different whenever you observe carefully the structure of the mould.

We are just at the beginning of the study of the mould effects on film. The results are promising but the journey to discovery has just started! 

To know more about me read :

Download Art Matteo's CV

Download Physics Matteo's CV


More about  VolMeur project:

Supported by the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants

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