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Sunday, January 29, 2023

The Mushroom Art

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Mushrooms are an unlikely medium for artists, but their connection to art goes way back. Artists have long used Ink Caps (Mollusks) to create etchings on paper. However, you can easily make your own at home. One particular mushroom, known as the Artist’s Conk, grows in sheets from tree trunks. Its flat, etchable surface allows artists to capture images and hold them permanently.

Mycelium leather
The process of making mycelium leather for mushroom art may sound unusual. But it is possible to produce leather-like materials without using cows. Although the process of growing the fungi is not yet commercialized, it has the advantage of lower carbon emissions than leather and plastic. In fact, the fashion industry is the second-largest polluter in the world, only behind oil. Not only does it consume enormous amounts of water, but it also produces about 10 percent of all global carbon emissions – more than all international air travel, maritime shipping, and other transportation combined.

As an organic material, mycelium has a lot of potential. Besides producing leather, it can also be used to produce batteries and spaceships. Mushrooms are a great resource for many purposes, from fashion to science. Historically, mushrooms have been used as a way to cure skin diseases. But today, mycelium is mainly used in fashion products. So, what is the potential of this new material?

Psychedelic mushrooms
Psychedelic mushrooms can vary in shape, size, and effects on the body. The most common species are psilocybin, gymnopilus, panaeolus, and copelandia. Depending on where they are found, they can cause varying effects on the body, such as sleepiness and hyperventilation. Psychedelic mushrooms have a wide variety of effects on the body, and they can be confused with poisonous mushrooms.

During the study, participants in the experiment showed enhanced brain activity in memory and emotion areas. The drug is believed to mimic dream sleep because of its similar effect. Because people experience these effects while sleeping, the drug increases their brain’s activity during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Psychedelic mushrooms have been described as an altered state of consciousness, and people who take them say they feel as if they are in a waking dream.

Mycelium prints
The art of mycelium printmaking is an ancient practice, but it is just recently being applied to contemporary painting. Artists in Mexico and Austria are attempting to make the micro world visible, and one of the best known artists using this technique is Alexandra Steiner. Her works feature iridescent forms and patterns found in mycelia, bringing to life this mysterious world. Steiner, a biologist by profession, has perfected her technique by painting in multilayered dimensions.

One method of using mycelium in art is by printing the spores onto textured paper. Many mushrooms produce white spores, but some of them are black. Other mushrooms produce cinnamon-colored spores. Depending on the type of mushroom, the mycelium will produce a beautiful pattern on the paper. Mycelium prints are a great choice for walls or cards, as they are beautiful and unique.

Mycelium textiles
Mycelium textiles can be woven into clothing and artwork. A Dutch designer has created a dress made from mushroom mycelium and tree mulch. A collaboration between the University of Utrecht, Mediamatic, and Officina Corpuscoli, the company developed a new process to create this fabric. The mycelium grows in modules that overlap to create a thin fabric. After the fungus grows on the fabric, it is dyed and processed. The process is environmentally friendly and the finished product is as soft and supple as traditional animal-based leather.

Unlike traditional fabrics, mycelium is non-toxic and fire-resistant. Its unique properties make it a great choice for textiles. It is flexible, durable, and waterproof. The fungus does not produce spores, making it an environmentally friendly material. Mycelium textiles can be as thin as paper, or as thick as leather. In addition to fabric, fungi textiles are made of a cellulose-based material called Mogu.

Beatrix Potter
The art of mushrooms is one of the oldest forms of flora and fauna, and Beatrix Potter’s ephemeral fairy-like qualities were a draw for her. Her fascination for the fungi, which she painted in watercolour, came from a foray in the autumn fields, where she did not need to carry heavy art materials. Her ephemeral mushroom studies continued after she died, when she donated the mycological drawings she’d made to the Armitt Museum in Ambleside.

The artist was very interested in mushrooms, and became very studious about their taxonomy. She learned the correct technique for botanical illustration, and was able to gain access to eminent mycologist Charles McIntosh, who continued to teach her about mushrooms and their life cycle. Her interests in the fungi grew and she conducted experiments using her own germinated spores. These experiments led to the creation of some of Potter’s most famous works.

Lara Ogel’s collages
Lara Ogel’s mushroom collages, created by combining various techniques, are reminiscent of the psychedelic experience of mushrooms. Although her work is highly personal, it also speaks of universal themes. Her works are reminiscent of the psychedelic experience of the mushroom itself, as they all include images of impish phallic forms of mushrooms and grass-like roots. While some of the images may seem a bit over the top, they also attempt to communicate the universality of shrooms and their psychedelic effect.

The exhibition also includes paintings by Arik Roper, who painted mushrooms with psychedelic colors and images. Champignons are fun and playful – especially when it comes to mushroom shapes. They’re neither avant-garde nor enigmatic, but they do offer a pleasant visual metaphor. The mushrooms they depict are not the strange, otherworldly creatures that many people associate with esoteric art.

Beatrix Potter’s watercolors
Though more famous for her anthropomorphic rabbits, Beatrix Potter also had a keen interest in mycology. Her fascination with mushrooms led her to make hundreds of detailed sketches of fungi. She believed art and science were connected and valued accuracy in her drawings. Some of her drawings are still used in modern identification. Although her interest in mushrooms is well-documented, this lesser known side of her life has caused controversy.

The ephemeral fairy qualities of mushrooms made them a natural fit for her illustrations. As a child, Potter studied mushroom taxonomy and learned how to draw them. She was also able to gain an introduction to eminent mycologist Charles McIntosh, who guided her in her microscopic observations. Potter became fascinated by the reproduction of mushrooms, and she even germinated spores to test her theory of mushroom reproduction.

Beatrix Potter’s lichen watercolors
The enchantment of Beatrix Potter’s lichen watercolor paintings of mushrooms is not only derived from their evocative titles. The enigmatic artist was a botanically accurate illustrator. She also dabbled in other fields, including decorative items and buildings. Interestingly, she caught the late 19th century mycology craze, submitting her botanically correct drawings and studies to scholarly journals.

While some scientists believe that lichens are plants, Beatrix Potter’s watercolors show that they are symbiotically associated with algae. Although they are not plants, they are in fact complex communities of algae and fungi. Although Beatrix Potter’s contributions to lichen study may have been exaggerated, her watercolors depict fungi and algae in a scientifically accurate way.

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