Giardia Lamblia (2008)

Giardia Lamblia has been on my list to paint for a long time. It is a flagellated protozoan parasite that colonises and reproduces in the small intestine. This painting is a ‘view from below’, or an ‘intestinal villi-eye view’ if you prefer, of Giardia coming in to land…



Acrylic & Silicone on Canvas 600mm x 600mm

It lives in cyst form for months in all sorts of water conditions, waiting for a human, or other mammal, to ingest it. It has existed unchanged, in this form, for millions of years. Initially it was thought to lack mitochondria, but recent research has revealed organelles which point to some sort of bacterial symbiosis in its history.

If you should become infected with these critters, expect the following [from wikipedia]

Symptoms of infection include (in order of frequency) diarrhea, malaise, excessive gas (often flatulence or a foul or sulphuric-tasting belch, which has been known to be so nauseating in taste that it can cause the infected person to vomit), steatorrhoea (pale, foul smelling, greasy stools), epigastric pain, bloating, nausea, diminished interest in food, possible (but rare) vomiting which is often violent, and weight loss.[3] Pus, mucus and blood are not commonly present in the stool. It usually causes “explosive diarrhea” and while unpleasant, is not fatal.

Here is a timelapse recording of the painting process, music by ‘Return to Netley, things have changed’:



1 Comment

  • Lucy Carter says:

    I’ve had giardia. All the symptoms are true. It was one of my least favourite illnesses. See you soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *