28 July 2022
EXHIBITION: Hamish Pearch 'The Art of Mushrooms'
Group exhibition, Parque de Serralves, Porto
Until 31st December
Fungi have become the metaphor for our times. The international artists brought together here are working with painting, photography, collage, sculpture, design, sound, textile, digital and other media have demonstrated a tsunami of interest in the humble mushroom. Their work is equally poetic, psychedelic, political, colourful, inventive and informative. Mushrooms are being used to present new models of contemporary art, politics, technology, economics and design. The Art of Mushrooms addresses the following questions: Why are artists and designers so drawn to mushrooms and mycelium? Why are fungi so important to human culture?
The Art of Mushrooms aims to demonstrate how art and science, nature and humanity can exist together in inspired symbiosis. Ursula Le Guin, in her 2014 lecture Deep in Admiration, suggests that art, poetry and visual culture could help rethink how we view nature. She wrote, “one way to stop seeing trees, or rivers, or hills, only as “natural resources” is to class them as fellow beings – kinfolk.” Genetic research has revealed mushrooms to be neither plant nor animal, but their own natural kingdom. In fact, fungi share a common single cell ancestor with humans. Our interest in fungi shows how humanity is striving for alternative forms of living in harmony. For many artists, mushrooms represent Utopia.