Installation view, Is-ness I-IX, UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art, Colorado Springs, CO, Jan 31-May 12, 2019
The title, “Is–ness,” refers to the psychedelic experience of seeing the inter-connectedness and “intrinsic significance” of all things that Aldous Huxley described in Doors of Perception. The collages combine paintings made using gouache, watercolor and ink on handmade paper from saprobic fungi which has been cast onto up-cycled scraps of polystyrene. The paintings reference networks, doodles, and systems while the relationship between the handmade paper and the polystyrene is suggestive of the potential mushrooms have to breakdown petroleum-based materials, a small symbol of hope in an otherwise hopeless climate crisis.
Saprobic fungi decompose matter and are essential to Earth’s ecosystems. There is new research in the field of Mycology, the study of mushrooms, that reveals more about the ecosystems beneath our feet, and the potential that mushroom have to undo some of the environmental havoc of the Anthropocene