When I was a kid I would tell my little sister fantastical bedtime stories about The Three Little Mushrooms, wee fungi brothers who lived in a pumpkin and went to school in a pear-tree, where they were taught lessons by a butterfly. I've always been drawn to the rustic, artistic, mysterious quality of mushrooms. As an adult, I've turned this interest towards mycology and foraging--identifying and finding those fleshy-skinned fungus.
Being an advertiser by trade much of my job involves studying culture and consumerism. It is an industry of smokescreens and fabricated stories that are a bit at-odds with the honest simplicity of natural world that I love so much. The Foragery Series is my contending of these two worlds--one a fabrication of reality, one authentic, and the intersection and disparities between them. They both create change and reflect their natural environment, but in very different ways.
These "foraged" mushrooms aren't species you will find in the wild. They are reflections of the things that are most visible to us, what we consume in culture. They are ephemeral, with properties of transformation--they create connected networks, they destroy and decompose, they take us to magic worlds. They can be toxic.
Mushrooms give us so much; they break matter down and return life to the soil, and silently hold our food chain together. Mushrooms create transformation and are needed for change. In creating this false fungi, I hope to reflect a bit more on the forces that make our world, and the forces that we make our world!
Clay, paint, mixed-media.
Uncommon Orange Stinkhorn
Distinctive Features: yellow veil, slimy orange cap, blue blush on stem.
Habitat: swamps, marshes; commonly found growing on dung
Edible: No - emits toxic spores
Distinctive Features: white hood-like cap and small ring, bright red stem and ruffled volva at base. Often found growing in groups of two. Abundant spores.
Habitat: rare, but can be found in suburban areas, can grow out of unfavorable conditions (concrete, grates, etc).
Edible: Yes, but averse reactions to some
Distinctive Features: green cap and layered, polypore-like stem similar to Turkey Tails. Small and rare.
Habitat: mycorrhizal - forms symbiotic relationships with other species root systems; can be found in various environs - highly portable
Edible: Not advised
Distinctive Features: honeycomb cap in distinctive blue-hue. Yellow stem, white ring.
Habitat: common in suburban lawns, hearty and returns year after year
Edible: Delicious when cooked