How slow-growing lichen opens up the vast universe

How slow-growing lichen opens up the vast universe

The Lichenologist from Matthew Killip on Vimeo.

Hidden within this remarkable short film The Lichenologist is the slowly-growing story of the unassuming and vividly beautiful botanical wonder of lichen. Kerry Knudsen has the auspicious title of  Curator of Lichens at the University of California. He dispels common misconception between lichens and mosses. The latter being a form of plant, and lichen being a composite of algae or cyanobacteria which grows symbiotically inside of fungus. 

In The Lichenologist Knudsen journeys from the lab to Joshua Tree National Park in the starkly beautiful desert of California. He says that his journey-making was augmented by LSD and the profound discovery that lichen provides an ‘intense feeling of reality, of just being here’. UK director Matthew Killip’s film creates a delicate and delightful sense of discovery and wonder in the small details of landscapes that many of us often overlook. Lichen offer an endless array of alien-like landscapes and strange topographical markings up close. Be prepared for wonder.

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