The Story of Connected Life
through Rock, Earth and Community.

Detail of a colony of soil bacteria cultured on nutrient agar, previously inoculated with a diluted soil sample. Alex Hyde


The Story of Connected Life
through Rock, Earth and Community.

EarthBound will take us through the hidden layer worlds of bedrock and earth, to pull us up into the light to look at our own human story of life on the surface.

The aim of EarthBound is to make us pause for breath a little, and think that our future survival may well depend on us having a deeper understanding and respect for the incredible life, micro-organisms and fungal networks that hold our planet in balance. The smallest things can have the biggest impact for our survival as a species, we have learned this the hard way over the last few years.

EarthBound will hopefully make us think a little more about the hidden story written in our rocks and the earth under our feet, the life there now and in the layered history of rock and earth, above and below, how we are all connected to this continuing story. We are all EarthBound.


The Earthbound Team are truly grateful for the amazing bedrock support for the project, from our partners at Longcliffe Quarries LTD, through EarthBound's initial conception and evolution and on to fruition in 2022, and from The Natural History Museum's team at their incredible imaging department. Thanks also to Hitachi's Education and outreach programme and for their state of the art portable SEM machine which will be coming to up Derbyshire this summer for school workshops and new EarthBound's image creation.

Longcliffe Quarry

“Much more than people often realise, the rock that lies beneath us, and its chemical make-up, is integral to our daily lives. It dictates the nature of the buildings that we build above it, the soil that rests on its surface and the biodiversity that lives and grows both through and because of its mineral structure. Like HILL, (a work produced by this same team in 2019 and that focused on Derbyshire’s rural communities and the land around them) we are proud to help support EarthBound’s exploration of these hidden layers beneath our feet, as well as their basic mission to promote a greater respect for this powerful life-force that forms the foundation for us all. We are especially glad that the Natural History Museum has sought to promote the educational benefits of this exhibition to wider audiences so that they too can enjoy the experience of this wonderful project.”

Robert Shields,
Chairman of Longcliffe Group LTD.

The Natural History Museum

Dr Alex Ball FRMS,
Head of Imaging and Analysis,
The Natural History Museum,

I first met Alex Hyde, Kate Bellis and Sally Matthews when "HILL" was exhibited in London and was inspired by the passion and the community that had been built up around this tremendous exhibition, with its deceptively simple central theme.

I'm now one of the project leads on Hitachi's Global STEM Education Outreach Programme to bring portable scanning electron microscopes (SEM) into UK schools and I've been working with Kate and Alex for some time now to link the SEM project to EarthBound as it is the perfect instrument to reveal the hidden detail that underpins all of that wonderful biodiversity!

The portable SEM is both easy to operate and powerful and will give students using it a true experience of using a state-of-the-art scientific instrument in a package compact enough to fit in a school classroom. I have been using these same SEMs for public outreach for almost 15 years and it's long been an ambition to put together a programme to get the microscopes into schools and to inspire the next generation of scientists, so this project offers a fantastic opportunity to do just that. These Workshops will hopefully be taking place in the Summer and Autumn terms with local Derbyshire school children and community groups.

Photo Copyright of the Trustees of the Natural History Museum

Talking EarthBound

"When I took a look at the EarthBound project on the web, I was immediately jolted into why I love my home environs. We artists, we photographers, are driven to observe and remind others of how intertwined these landscapes are with the richness of nature and culture. The death of the barn owl is beautifully observed. Here on Dartmoor, we had until recently a number of tiny barns which are now tumbled. A barn owl and a barn.  This is why our Government, and its plans for future farming, must think beyond the box. Matters such as these emphasize the forgotten links to our natural world and stress the need for our assistance."

Chris Chapman, Throwleigh, Dartmoor. March 2021

"Knowing the areas where these artists work, I am impressed by the way they are directing us to important issues. When I put a link to EarthBound on our Approaching Photography Group Facebook page, it attracted a tremendous number comments from all around the world when it first went live, that must be testimony to the quality of the creativity and ideas expressed on it, which are wonderful and entirely appropriate at this time."

Professor Paul Hill MBE, DFine Art,Darts

"Looking at Earthbound and I am utterly captivated by every single image and the ineluctable thread that ties them together - spectacular. The root cause of our demise will be the failure to see that life, from the molecular to the macrocosmic scale, is a complex web of interdependency. We need to appreciate that we are all Earthbound."

George McGavin, Entomologist, television presenter, author.

Wood Ant Circle, Sally Matthews

Return to top

All content © Copyright not to be reproduced