Medusa of the Mushrooms

Fertility Fountain #2: Medusa of the Mushrooms

Within a space that is part bunker, part cave: a series of bulbous mycelium figures lurk in pools of water. These Medusae are not the decapitated monsters of Greek myth – instead, they refer to an older heritage of snake-goddesses and Gorgonesque-masked priestesses whose voices echo from deep within the earth.

Breeding resonances between the labyrinths of mycorrhizal networks that support tree and plant roots and the vast, ethereal organism of hidden tunnels and services beneath city streets, line drawings in copper suggest intersections between cosmic diagrams, circuit diagrams and the meander of self-searching.

Over the life of the exhibition the mycelium figures will blossom and fruit with grey oyster mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms can purify water of e.coli bacteria resulting from sewage, and other fungal species are able to extract gold and precious metals from e-waste. But fungi, which are neither plant nor animal, neither friend nor foe, can be threatening as well as life-giving: a substance that infers decay and death. We must treat networks with respect.

More photos to follow as installation unfolds