Friday, 20 April 2012

Latch On! in NUI Galway Research Matters and at Fascination Of Plants Day

Latch On! is featured in the Spring 2012 issue of Research Matters. Check page 11 out!

The installation has recently reappeared at Proximity 2012 student exhibition at GMIT and we are coming back on the 18t of May as part of the first ever, international 'Fascination of Plants Day'! Dr Zoë Popper (Botany and Plant Science, NUI Galway) is the national organiser for Ireland and coordinates the event here on NUI Galway campus. Alongside other attractions, Latch On! will be displayed in the Art Gallery in the Quadrangle for a week, starting on 18th of May. To find out more about Fascination of Plants Day go to and

Monday, 28 November 2011

Big show at the NUI Galway Science Festival 2011:

Graffiti Comments posted by our visitors...

Thank you for visiting...

'Latch on' did very well at the Galway Science and Technology Festival. People enjoyed it -young and old, with lots of interaction going on. And we were spotted by The Irish Times!
Pictures coming soon ! If you missed it - the main mural will be available to see in Orbsen Building for the next two days and our tiles will be lurking in pubs and shops of Galway for another few days too.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Come to Orbsen Building at NUIG campus (map below) this Sunday 10am-6pm to see our interactive artwork and learn more about parasitic plants and their ecological importance. Before that you can go on a treasure hunt in town and look for some of the haustorial tiles and stickers lurking in pubs, cafes and shops. Check out 'Our Partners' section for directions ;-) The interest in displaying our work has been beyond our expectations - we will need more tiles next time!

Latch on !

Thursday, 10 November 2011


We are currently looking for outdoor (and public indoor) venues for displaying our bespoke tiles (picture below). If you own a visible wall/corner/lamppost in Galway and would be happy for a bespoke tile to be installed on it - please let us know ! We have flat, corner and curved tiles to fit many different locations. Get involved and help break up the monotony of grey buildings in Galway, just as hemiparasites help break up the monotony of grass monocultures ! :)


Tuesday, 8 November 2011


The people of Galway are invited to participate in a science-inspired art project on display at the Galway Science and Technology Festival Exhibition (27th November, Orbsen Building, NUIG campus) and around the city (starting 21st of November). LATCH ON is a joint venture between a botanist, Anna Pielach (NUIG), and a ceramicist, Veronika Straberger (GMIT). It is a pilot project that forms part of an international initiative called Guerilla Science. It is aimed at the general public in a bid to encourage ‘latching on’ to science.

This collaboration between a scientist and an artist is inspired by the ingenious strategy of native hemiparasitic plants. These plants facilitate ecological balance while clandestinely latching on to roots of vigorous meadow plants (mainly grasses) to steal nutrients. In doing so, the hemiparasites control the growth of dominant plants and enable weaker species to thrive in close proximity and encourage plant diversity.The main focus in Anna Pielach’s botanical research of hemiparasites is a haustorium — this is the underground connection point where the roots of hemiparasites and host plants meet.

‘Latch On’ is a ceramic street installation. Colourful tiles, like haustoria, will latch on to buildings, wrap around lamp posts, lurk around corners, hide on stairways and suck at benches throughout NUI Galway campus and parts of Galway City. These alien clay creatures are determined to break up monotonous rectangularity and encourage multi-coloured, odd-shaped diversity.

This is an image of a haustorium as seen under the microscope. See how many you can spot around the city during the week of the 21st of November. On Sunday, the 27th of November follow them to the Orbsen building at the University College where you can see an interactive display and find out more about hemiparasites and their natural habitats.