WALKING OUT OF SLEEP: encounters with lichen territory

Tamsin Green

a book of multiple layers, that reflect the organism and the environmental conditions that they require to survive
a book of multiple encounters, from the controlled conditions of the herbarium, to wild wanderings
a book that can be read from multiple directions, or viewpoints, starting with science or experience

The book explores one woman’s relationship with Map Lichen and the places that they inhabit. Over a period of two years she travelled to locations across the UK to spend time with the lichen in often remote and challenging terrain. She walked and slept among the lichen, sensitising herself to the elements that these friendly green crusts need to survive. She made photographs and wrote poems. The ‘maps’ guiding her into lichen territory.

Alongside her fieldwork she spent time with displaced lichen. The Natural History Museum in London is home to half a million lichen specimens, looked after by the Curator of Lichens. 120 of these samples are Map Lichen collected across the UK from the 1800s. Each visitor to the collection reviews the files and leaves their own notes, suggestions and new samples… After all science, knowledge and the herbarium itself are not static.

£130 + P&P (incl. in the UK)


Handmade edition of 60 books, signed and numbered by the artist

  • Published in September 2023
  • 92pp, 47 images, 175x245mm (550x420mm open)
  • Lichen sample packet cover, single signature with three hole pamphlet hand binding
  • Risograph and EcoTank ink-jet printed on responsibly made papers from waste paper pulp and toxic algae. Print inserts on left-over paper stock. *
  • ISBN 978-1-8384772-2-6

*Full details at the bottom of this page

Public Collections

Coventry University Library (UK)
LCC University Library (UK
Manchester Metropolitan University - Special Collections Museum (UK)
San Telmo Museum – The Gabriela Cendoya Bergareche Collection (ES)
The British Library (UK)
The Photobook Cafe (UK)
The Tate - Artist Book Library (UK)
The Victoria & Albert Museum - National Art Library (UK)


Llyf, Stiwdio Griffith, Swansea (2024)
SALON/24, Photofusion, London (2024)
Seismic Mother (Book Event), Hypha Studio, London (2023)

Other Notes

Book launch and ‘in conversation’ with Olivia (Lilly) Edward - The Photobook Cafe, London: 1 November 2023: 6-9pm: Listen to the conversation on SoundCloud

Glover-Rayner Environmental Award - Photofusion (2024)

Beloved books to spend the winter with - Gabriela Cendoya Bergareche (December 2023)

Interview with J.Sybylla Smith - Concept Aware Podcast, Paris Photo in Your Pocket 2023

AGM Talk - The British Lichen Society, Nottingham: 20 January 2024

Book Feature: Photoworks - as part of the Digital Residency Programme

Book Feature: Caught by the River

Additional images from the book can be seen here.


Tamsin Green's latest publication welcomes the reader into a poetic confluence of science and experience - of observation, enquiry and marvel at the beauty of nature and its persistently quiet existence - as well as a visual expression of the remote landscape she travelled, solo, on her many expeditions around the UK. Rich, monochrome images of crags and valleys evidence the palpable clean air and fog that are most beneficial to map lichen, and as we may come to realise, to the artist as well.

Reading Green's books sharpen the senses of perception and introspection, slowing down, taking the time to explore the natural world. In 'Walking Out of Sleep, Encounters with Lichen Territory', the elusive afterimage of map lichen spills over the many ages of geological time in the pages of the publication, where boulder and pebble, crag and bluff lose scale and temporality.  Perhaps as the artist has done herself. "I wonder how long I would have to lie still for the lichen to live on me." 

Christiane Monarchi, founding editor Photomonitor, founding co-editor Hapax

“Yellow map lichen, Rhizocarpon geographicum is a common widespread species in Alpine or arctic habitats, especially on exposed siliceous rocks. It is essential not to overlook our lichens and their biological diversity. It is critical to understand their contributions to our environmental cycles especially in the Anthropocene where most of their habitats are fast disappearing.

Tamsin Green’s book opens us to the fascinating world of lichens! I was amazed to see her artwork, narrations that take us to the depths of nature. She illustrates how yellow map lichens function, where and why they are found, and what practical importance they have. Her work is beyond science, but still within science.”

Gothamie Weerakoon, Senior Curator of Lichens and Slime Moulds, The Natural History Museum, London

"As scientists, it was really surprising for many of us to hear your artistic mindset when exploring lichens. It was so different to how we, as scientists, look at lichens! I could never have imagined how different. But that's what made it a really good talk! Your book was beautiful. I love the fact that you opened my mind to a whole new way of looking at, and interacting with, lichens."

Fay Newberry, British Lichen Society (BLS) President

The edition has been made with the following principles in mind: Design out waste and the use of harmful materials, make locally, prioritise recycling.


The cover and index pages were Risograph printed in East London, a couple of miles from the artist / publisher’s home. The prints were delivered by bicycle. The Risograph ink is made using waste rice bran oil and requires no heat and very low power for printing. 

The body of the book is inkjet printed on demand by the artist using an EcoTank printer. These printers have tanks that can be refilled from bottles of water soluble dye-based ink, eliminating single-use plastic cartridges.

Risograph: Duplikat, London (UK)
Inkjet: Epson EcoTank ET-8550


The book and print insert sizes were optimised to the paper sizes to minimise paper usage and waste through trimming. Approx. 70% of the book is printed on standard A4 and A3 paper that utilise the full sheet and require no trimming. 

The book uses three papers; Alga Carta, a paper made from toxic algae blooms in the lagoon of Venice (also chosen to reflect Algae as one of the partners in the lichen symbiosis); Colorset, made by Fenner from 100% recycled paper pulp; Colorplan, a paper responsibly made by the James Cropper Mill in the Lake District for GF Smith (UK). The paper for the insert prints varies, much like the paper substrates used in the herbarium, and are drawn from the artist’s left over stock and samples, making each book unique.

The book covers are made from lichen paper sample packets used by the Lichen herbarium at the Natural History Museum, London. The cover packet's function is to protect the book, as it would the lichen, and therefore it will wear and wrinkle.

Favini Alga Carta Ivory (Distributed by Fenner in the UK)
Fenner Colorset Light Grey
G.F Smith Colorplan Chartreuse


Recycled cardboard book wraps from Priory Direct. These wraps adjust to the size of the book to minimise the packaging size for transportation.

The books are wrapped in bubble wrap and other packing materials reclaimed from studio deliveries.

Using Format