I opened my mouth in the sea to ingest the salt until it crystalised on the calcified edges of my bones making my body of water its temporary host, 2023

Salt, bio-resin, algae, pampas grass, willow root, sea moss, bladderwrack, stainless steel, mussel shells, cable ties, geode, paracetamol, duloxetine, polyethylene, basil seeds, aluminum, PVC, water pump, LEDs 

28 x 165  x 70 cm




Sophie Mei Birkin (b.1995)  is a London based artist with a multimedia practice- material exploration is central to her work particularly how materials interact to create a psychophysical response. She investigates the generative potential in the transformation of matter through a variety of material processes such as growing salt crystals and exploring amorphous and decomposing substances. Sophie Mei graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2021, where she was awarded the Euan Uglow Scholarship for MA Sculpture and an Emerging Artist Award by Sarabande Foundation; she has recently exhibited work at Collective Ending HQ, Barbican Cinema, The Artist Room Gallery, Projektraum Claas Reiss and Saatchi Gallery.




Why do we say ‘body of water’? The piece invites viewers to witness salt in different states as an exploration of oceanic material transformation. From the liquid movement of saltwater to the lattice-structures of crystalisation the work highlights the passage of time and its effect on submerged materials. The piece employs synthetic and organic materials, including painkillers and antidepressants, to comment on how matter moves through our bodies [themselves bodies of water] and flows into larger collective bodies of water; ‘To drink a glass of water is to ingest the ghosts of bodies that haunt that water…we return to the cistern and the sea not only our antidepressants, our chemical estrogens, or our more commonplace excretions, but also the meanings that permeate those materialites: disposable culture, medicalised problem-solving, ecological disconnect’ -Astrida Neimanis



13 – Climate Action

14 – Life Below Water