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Fungus Among Us

Fungus Among Us

Fungus Among Us

August/September 2012 issue of American Craft magazine
Author Monica Moses

Molds, mildews, yeasts: These spore-producing fungal organisms – they’re not plants – often represent neglect and decay. But in decay there is a curious beauty, as these artists demonstrate.

New York-based Lindsey Adelman’s Shady Side candlesticks, made of walnut, sprout brass fungus.

Flaunt your fungi in a ring or necklace by Peggy Skemp, a Chicago artist who works in silver and bronze.

Christiaan Nagel plants his mushroom sculptures, made of polyurethane, fiberglass, and stainless steel, in lots of places, but particularly atop buildings in the East End of London.

Australian “bio-artist” Donna Franklin grew the orange bracket fungal fabric for her Fibre Reactive dress, conceiving it in a petri dish on potato purée before moving the spores to silk for final maturation.

Mushroom garnishes made of radishes are part of John Poon’s edible art repertoire.

Renee Prisble of Chicago makes wall sculptures, with a special interest in recycling materials, as in Orange Jelly. “Orange sweaters from thrift stores were reused to create this large-scale fungal invasion,” she explains. 

San Antonio, Texas, artist Jasmyne Graybill, who likes to imagine what domestic objects would look like if nature took over, used dental tools, polymer clay, and a glass relish plate to make this untitled piece for a recent show.

Fiona Hepburn’s medium is cut paper, seen here in Spores 3. The London-based printmaker says she works from “an obsessive reproduction of a single shape,” gradually organizing organic components into a new structure.

Amsterdam-based Andreas Kowalewski’s Fungi lamps are made out of a nylon webbing, bonded together with a special gluing technique. 

Collective Unconscious tracks visual themes among artists. Spot a theme we should know about? Email us at [email protected].