We’d like to think that over the course of the last few years, our Belly Button Biodiversity project has inspired quite a few things.

 And now we can say that Belly Button Biodiversity has inspired ART!

New York-based artist Joana Ricou is creating a Bellybutton Portrait Series, inspired by the Belly Button Biodiversity project. And YOU (well, folks in the Research Triangle area…) have an opportunity to participate!

Here’s a description of the project in Joana’s own words:

The Bellybutton Portrait Series is a set of photographs of microbial cultures of individuals that double as portraits of the subject’s microbial selves. The Series exists in two forms: as a participatory experience where visitors swab their own bellybutton to have a portrait made and, as a series of portraits displayed as photos. The portraits invite viewers to consider their other selves, the parts of their body that are not human, and reflect upon the connection they form between ourselves, the world around us and our parents.

Joana recently received a commission for this work from the Eden Project, in Cornwall, UK, for a permanent exhibit on the microbiome. She’ll be visiting North Carolina this week – And she invites you to participate in the Bellybutton Portrait Series!

Come on down to the Instrumentation Lab at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (Third floor, Nature Research Center) from 5-9p on Thursday, October 23, to swab your belly button and participate in art!

Header image: Bellybutton portrait no.1, C-print, 7 x 9 in, 2012, provided courtesy of the artist, Joana Ricou.