US artists and farmers Mei-Ling Hom and David McClelland ran a workshop at BigCi Bilpin 10/2 to an eager group of fungi growers, foragers, designers, artists, engineers, and writers.
David and Mei-Ling stepped is through fungi basics, Mei-Ling's installation art pieces and their move to growing art forms, namely straw structures filled with Pleurotus spp. used for mycoremediation and harvesting.
Mei-Ling's forms were beautifully designed constructed and realised. They also naturally degrade in time complimenting the environment with a suite of nutrients. After thoughtful discussion on the limitations and potential of fungi for bioremediation we moved on to making our own mushroom sculptures.
David and Mei-Ling prepared simple materials for us to use -sissal string, hessian, oat straw and magnificent pearl oyster spawn. Mei-Ling sewed a hessian shape for stuffing with substrate -
She then filled it with pasteurised cooled straw mixed with spawn. These shapes are designed to grow in shady moist garden spaces.
I decided to make a heart shape as Valentine's Day is close.
It will live and grow near a fountain in my garden.
Mei-Ling and David are great teachers of fungi art as they are experienced, personable, aesthetic, experimental, ecologically aware and happy. The participants were great to meet and share interests and stories. Here is Coster a resident artist from Zimbabwe and his tree fungi sculpture by the BigCi dam.