A Living Piece of Art

Have you seen anything so beautiful?! Our sister, friend – and now artist – Rock the Cradle Doula Yvonne Pelling, along with her colleague WhiteFeather Hunter, have created this stunning piece of art…made with KOMBUCHA!! Yes, kombucha – like the drink!

Over a year ago, Yvonne had an idea to create an art piece, showing a representation of ‘mother and baby’. The Universe listened and introduced her to bioartist WhiteFeather Hunter. Together, they created the ‘Mother’, using kombucha to develop the ‘skin’, which was then sculpted into the bust and belly of a pregnant woman. Very cool!

‘Mother’ was showcased last weekend at Booch Fest – Canada’s first ever festival dedicated to kombucha which took place in Ottawa!



Listen here for the CBC interview with WhiteFeather Hunter, regarding her research (she discusses Yvonne’s art piece at 6 minutes):


Kombucha: Mother and Daughters

One of the popular names for a kombucha SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) is a “mother”. This refers to the fact that the cellulosic layer that forms a protective cover over the kombucha liquid as it ferments, also produces younger layers called “daughters”. These daughters are often shared or passed on from an experienced kombucha brewer to a new brewer, to become their new kombucha mothers of a whole new, unique batch of brew.

It is this metaphor that Yvonne and WhiteFeather play on in this piece, meant to showcase a representation of the interior beauty present in a pregnant woman’s form. Yvonne Pelling draws from her experience of working as a Doula to support birthing mothers, to materialize this exploration of who she (the mother) is, from the inside as a creator, a giver of life. WhiteFeather’s interest in the agency of microbes and the role they play in making up who we are as individuals, informs the use of kombucha SCOBY to creatively generate a new “body”.


Mother, giver of life

‘Mother’ asks us, “What is beautiful?” Who are we, as we grow and create new forms? Can invisible bacteria, which live and multiply in the gut, expose the linage of every birthing woman and the beauty of what sits within her? Can they give a voice to the strength, power and vulnerability that birth creates inside a body?

*Mother’ is a continuous work-in-progress.


The ‘Mother’ team consists of Yvonne Pelling, Professional Doula and incoming graduate student researcher at Concordia University and bioartist WhiteFeather Hunter, who is Principal Investigator and Technician for the Speculative Life BioLab at the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology at Concordia University.