I decided to paint the mushrooms on this figure gold. Inspired by Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, whereby embracing the flaws creates a stronger more beautiful piece of art.
I like to think of it as embracing the female form, in whatever form it may take. All bodies are beautiful.
take it further with castings of real bodies
perhaps call for models who have past injuries, illnesses (mastectomies, amputations)
to show that no matter what happens, we are still beautiful, it is still our body
A very rough mock up of an idea for portraits that depict mushrooms “growing” from the face.
Created using photoshop with images taken from Google.
I could create this using photography, and potentially also painting.
A further idea is to take portrait shots and manipulate them so that actual mould will grow on them: leave them outside, apply food to them to encourage mould growth. Similar to the works of Seung-Hwan Oh.
Portraits of women: mushrooms coming from eyes, mouth etc. scared/worried expression. Disappearing, melting back into the earth, overtaken by death and wasting away. Symbolising that we are helpless to this overcoming growth of violence towards us.
Plinth: A white plinth, plain on three sides and the top, one side will have a mass of mushrooms growing from it. To symbolise the fact that people turn a blind eye to violence against women, it is easy not to see it. But it is festering behind closed doors.
Uncontrollable, growing unseen and unheard. Engulfing, eradicating
Like getting the bread from the cupboard to find that it is mouldy. It comes without knowing, without warning. Even if one survives it stays and creeps
The links I have found between my fungi project and violence towards women, both current/past.
The similarities and themes I wish to convey through my art work:
the slow creeping growth of mould is silent, engulfing and unpreventable. Violence towards women is much the same, in the way that it is something that has existed for centuries. It feels unstoppable and that nothing will ever stop it from occurring. It feels suffocating, a slow creeping dread. Similar to the growth of mould.
relates the two topics to death and the end. Mushrooms grow on things that are dying/rotting.
conveys the sense of helplessness towards the situation; it is going nowhere. It is stagnant and mouldering with time
It gives a small sense of renewal, the cycle of life after death. A potentially mild glimmer of hope
Links above are to two current stories: the murders of two women in London, Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa. Both women were approached while alone and both ended up killed.
From Everard’s Vigil:
“could have been anyone”
“we have all felt unsafe when it is dark outside”
“stand in solidarity with all women”
“shame on you” chant as policed removed women from vigil
Ms Harman said women’s confidence in the police “will have been shattered”.
I find a relation between the deep yet unseen connection that women share with each other; and the hidden underground network of fungi that links them all to each other from afar. I want to try and show this relation through my art within this project.
Experimenting with small scale sculptures of the female form, entwined with mushrooms. Playing on a quote from “fantastic fungi” that “we are all made up of mushrooms”, and a part where it was stated that we inhale the spores of mushrooms with every breath. They are flowing through our body every second of the day.
touching on beauty in death, mild comfort in the fact that we will be returned to the earth, and the cycle will repeat