Breathing light

One of the things I love about the museums in South Kensington is how they are funded.  Voluntary donations are suggested, there are membership programmes and exhibits are sponsored.  What this means is that you can visit without paying any money.  This takes off the pressure to go ’round a whole museum is one visit “to get my £20 worth!”.  In my experience, trying to visit any large museum all in one go is not only exhausting, it is tiring and you don’t take much in towards the end.

The approach of the V&A, Science and Natural History Museums (and the Tate and Tate Modern btw) means that you can dip in and dip out as your time allows and as the exhibits interest you.

Last week I decided to go and see the Living Chandelier which currently hangs over the Members’ Reception at the V&A.

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What makes this chandelier novel is that the green in the leaves is algae which absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen as it grows and photosynthesis does its thing.  I took a close up picture in an attempt to better understand the mechanics, but remain puzzled.

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My curiosity is less with the biochemical process of a plant converting carbon-dioxide into oxygen, I am more confused by where exactly the gas exchange takes place.  The leaves look as if they are fully enclosed and they are referred to as being ‘leaves’, which look like they are made of glass.

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