Everything is Connected with Everything Else: Myco Logic extends a work that Elizabeth Day originally presented for the arts festival Cementa15 in Kandos, regional NSW.
For more than a year Elizabeth Day worked with local community groups as well as other festival artists to make a “crop” of hand-crafted mushrooms, knitting together these divergent communities. Participants made mushrooms from a wide range of hand-crafts including knitting, crocheting, lace-making, papier-maché, embroidery, metalwork and carving. This “crop” was brought together on a raft of raffia and string “mycelia” in an installation created by Day for the festival exhibition.
As former festival Co-director Ann Finegan describes, “Myco Logic‘s premise of connectivity, through its rhizomatic substructure, was an apt metaphor for community connection and engagement. This project facilitated engagement between visiting urban artists and local artists and craftspeople… Myco Logic is one of those rare community engagement art projects that equally facilitates individual artistic expression and collective participation.”
Myco Logic included contributions from: Alice Fisher, Ellen Riley, Val Morgan, Montana Dunn, Claire Gordon, Helen Merrett, Louise Norton, Anna Gibbs, Sarah Goffman, Leanne Wicks, Kelsey Bender, Anne Bond, Neal Price, Loma Bridge, Delma Smith, Kaz Knights, Sarah Newall, Hope Norris, Sadie Chandler, Christine Treganza, Rose Ann McGreevy, Montana Dunn, Nike Savvas, Perry Combover, Tara Kulla, Denise Jamieson, Nola Farnam, Kiah Rovell, Haley Harris, and Brooke Harris.
Maria Miranda on Elizabeth Day’s contribution to Cementa15
“Mycelia are the mass of thin white threads produced by fungi which act as an underground network – a sort of “superhighway for plants” – connecting neighbouring trees and plants, sharing nutrients and information, and even warning other plants of possible toxic trouble. This amazing ability of fungi to create a network has become known as the “wood wide web”… Through the collaborative making of mushrooms, Myco Logic enacted the very complex communication networks that mycelia perform. And thus offers ways to re-imagine how unsung local social networks are themselves complex networks of communication.”
Professor Anna Gibbs, Mycelial Dreamings at Cementa15, Southerly, 17 Apr 2015
“Elizabeth Day […] instigated and co-ordinated highly skilled local communities of knitters and crafters to make numerous mushrooms in a variety of sizes and colours. Other artists also contributed mushrooms made of […] whatever came to hand. Day then installed all these so that they seemed to spring out of the huge mass of mycelium she created from knotted strips of tape and string. Mycelium is the rhizomatic root structure of mushrooms, capable of transmitting nutrients and chemical messages to other plant species, and also of absorbing toxins from the environment. In Day’s work it suggests the complex processes of communication and translation from which community is produced as a living network.”
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Image: Elizabeth Day with Alice Fisher, Ellen Riley, Val Morgan, Montana Dunn, Claire Gordon, Helen Merrett, Louise Norton, Anna Gibbs, Sarah Goffman, Leanne Wicks, Kelsey Bender, Anne Bond, Neal Price, Loma Bridge, Delma Smith, Kaz Knights, Sarah Newall, Hope Norris, Sadie Chandler, Christine Treganza, Rose Ann McGreevy, Montana Dunn, Nike Savvas, Perry Combover, Tara Kulla, Denise Jamieson, Nola Farnam, Kiah Rovell, Haley Harris, and Brooke Harris, Myco Logic, 2015, mixed media. Detail of work installed at Cementa15, Kandos, NSW. Image courtesy of the artist and Conny Dietzschold Gallery. Photograph: Elizabeth Day.