Gallery Flux Art Talk | Cri Kars-Marshall
May 07, 2017

Mycelium: Mushrooms’ Gift to Artists

I want to share with you my excitement about an uncommon medium for some of my recent art—a primordial substance with novel uses. Mycelium, the underground network of thread-like fungal cells of mushrooms, is lately attracting attention not just of scientists and engineers impressed with its flexible practical uses. Mycelium is also of growing interest to a range of American and European artists working in sculpture, photography, textiles, leather, architecture, wood, interior design, and even abstract painting.
People have long enjoyed eating (and occasionally smoking) the mushroom fruits. In the last few years, though, a few adventurous artists are exploring the living organic qualities of mushroom mycelium, impressed with its strength, light weight, and—for those searching for planet-friendly materials, the fact that it’s entirely bio-degradable.
I'll be exploring with you my thoughts--with photos--about the intellectual and artistic pleasure this new medium provides me, how it compares to creating forms with clay, and the daily surprises I get working with a living organism. To do that I'll also talk briefly about the mushroom's life cycle, the kinds of mushrooms I'm working with, and the range of current uses others have found for mycelium.


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