The Diatomist

A relic of artistry from the Victorian times, the painstaking arrangement of single-celled algae is the peculiar fascination of modern diatomist, Klaus Kemp.


Diatoms are microscopic single-celled algae, unique in their ability to encase themselves in cell walls made of delicate silica. Diatoms can be found in oceans, freshwater, soils, and damp surfaces. With over 100,000 known species, each variety is unique in its form and has long-since provided Victorian microscopists with a rich assortment of artistic material.

Filmmaker Matthew Killip explores the work of nature moulded by the hand of man with his short documentary about Klaus Kemp, the modern diatomist.