I grow self-weaving, collaborative tapestries with Reishi mushrooms, with patterning that subverts dated florals, motifs historically used to bring the beauty of nature indoors for human enjoyment. My interventions to the patterning allow me to show evidence of an actual life cycle where the inevitable passage of time, gravity, wilt, and decay are allowed to be present. The fruiting bodies of the mushrooms spontaneously emerge and interrupt the surface pattern of the tapestry as it matures, providing a strange source of excitement and a metaphor for the welcome interruption of the cyclical patterns of routine adult life.
These tapestries serve a practical purpose as well: they are personal gardens to cultivate beneficial compounds that can be consumed to improve one’s health and wellbeing, and sites to provide therapeutic “soft fascination” while living in an urban environment. We provide resources to help each other survive in our shared ecosystem- I provide for the needs of the organism as it orchestrates the weaving, and the tapestry fulfills my need for the presence of nature. And when the tapestry completes its life cycle, its physical remains can be harvested to provide resources for human health, or displayed as objects of compassionate decor.
My work is informed by science, pseudo-science, aspirational self-help rituals, and fate. Using mushrooms as agents of decay and simultaneous regeneration is a way to spark conversations about the sustainability of both the body and the environment, and the futility of trying to maintain youth and good health. These tapestries serve to amuse and console, ask us to experience an alternate reality, contemplate the definition of cooperation, and accept destiny and chance.