Everything is Connected With Everything Else: Myco Logic is a community arts and cultural development project in Parramatta, Western Sydney.
The project is comprised of an exhibition at the Heritage Courtyard Pavilion, in the Parramatta Justice Precinct, and a community arts program in the pavilion and Cumberland Hospital.
The arts program is facilitated by visual artist Elizabeth Day. In group sessions, Day demonstrates how anything can be used to ‘draw’ fungi in three dimensions. Workshops are based around visual story-telling and skills sharing. Participants are encouraged to draw on skills they already have and leadership for skills sharing is sought from within the groups.
COMMUNITY, CREATIVITY AND CONNECTION
At the heart of Myco Logic is a creative exchange based on the image of fungi and their underground mycelial root structures. The mycelia are a vast network that communicate between species and transmit nutrients beneath forest floors. Day likens this system to a logic of communities. Mobilising this non-centred image of mutually supportive networks is a primary engagement strategy with participants.
The program aims to foster connections between contributors and reconnect them with their creativity through the process of making hand-crafted fungi together. By involving the hospital and broader community in practical, creative workshops, Myco Logic assists in building support networks within and outside of the hospital, addressing the isolation experienced by many in mental health contexts.
Myco Logic is designed to change the creative dynamic of the participants in the groups, reinvigorating interest and participation in arts and crafts. The mushroom is a frame within which to inspire individual expression and for participants to rediscover the joy of making. Making hand-crafted mushrooms and bringing them altogether in a larger installation is a vehicle around which isolated, fractured groups can come together and forge new interconnections as a community. The project aims for group activities to continue after the completion of the project.
The pavilion exhibition is a public platform for the artwork made by participants. The mushrooms will be brought together on a network of roots in an installation by Elizabeth Day. This aggregated image explores ideas of connection and community.
The program has been developed by Elizabeth Day and project curator Claire Taylor with consumer and carer advocates and the Recovery Services team at Cumberland Hospital.
We acknowledge the Darug people who are the traditional custodians of the land of Parramatta and pay respect to the elders past and present of the Darug nation.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Image: Elizabeth Day, Myco Logic, 2015, mixed media. Installation detail from FLOOR WORKS, Articulate, Sydney. Image courtesy of the artist and Conny Dietzschold Gallery. Photograph: Elizabeth Day.