Life Cycle of a Mould Mite
Matthew Crawley

The Mould mite (Tyrophagus putrescentiae) is a common mite species known throughout the world. These diminutive bugs are usually white or tan in colour, and are often found in domestic environments where excessive moisture and humidity abound. They are also a recurrent nuisance in food warehouses and processing plants. It is a common misconception that the mites hatch on mould; they are called Mould mites because they feed on mould, but the correct environmental conditions must be present in order for them to hatch and breed in the first place. Given these conditions – temperatures above 30 degrees celsius and humidity of 85% and above – the Mould mite can complete its life cycle in less than three weeks.

In 2014, the North Leeds bedroom of then-15-year-old Brady Crawley was infested with Mould mites. The creatures are attracted to warm things so grouped around the plug sockets, light switch and phone. The damp wall behind her bed proved appealing to the invading bugs too. To appease the distressed girl her parents removed everything from her bedroom, replaced the rotten double-glazed window and had the room methodically cleaned.

For Life Cycle of a Mould Mite at Leeds Weirdo Club, the artist Matthew Crawley has forensically reconstructed his daughter's bedroom circa 2012. The installation restores a recent past to uncanny effect. It betrays the careful construction of one's identity that takes place in adolescence and the collusion and compromises that make up the fabric of a family life.

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