I have been inspired by many artists throughout my life. The work of Joseph Beuys whose work took place within a vanguard of postwar artists and intellectuals who dared to investigate issues largely left unspoken in everyday discourse. The most famous anecdote from the war period, which came to serve as one of the best-known myths surrounding Joseph Beuys, is the story that Beuys was shot down in the Crimea in 1943 and saved by a group of Tatar nomads who used animal fat and felt as salve for his wounds and insulation from the cold. Beuys often explained that this is where his preferred use of animal fat and felt came from. It is clear that Beuys’s presentation of the wound in his art, with his body, his objects, and his discourse, provided a vehicle for a healing process in society. Engaging Germany’s Nazi past, Beuys framed his work as a type of homeopathic therapy: “the Art Pill.” (full article here)
His use of the term 'Social Sculpture' to describe an expanded concept of art embodies art's potential to transform society. He blurred the lines between life and art, extending their definition, believing and advocating that spiritually and socially engaged artists have the power to change the world for good. It is this method and theory which inspires me most.
Today, through the use of plant medicine, plant based materials and the fungi kingdom, we have the opportunity to turn the page to a brighter future. The fungal kingdom is known to host some of the oldest friends and foes of humanity. When properly used in many modern and traditional processes, fungi are fundamental in the production of bread, beer, cheese, sauces, pigments, antibiotics, industrial enzymes, vitamins, and many other essentials across human civilizations. Speaking about their significant importance, one should consider that more than 95% of the known plants rely on symbiotic relationships with fungi in order to thrive, which directly conditions agricultural yields worldwide. Not only industries, plants, and planetary ecosystems depend on healthy fungal networks. Fungi also live in our own guts, skin and hair, contributing to our own health and moods.
My work acts as a reinvention of possibilities. I explore the connections that link nature, culture, and spirituality. A generous scholarship by the Fantastic Fungi Summit and an initial donation of mycelium from Ecovative allowed me to research ecology and mycology, not to mention the human spirit. A recent residency with Biophilium, science school for artists, Symbiosis, unraveled a spiral of questions, truths, and accessibility to continue on my path to mending the planet and hopefully inspire others to do the same.
My sculptures reveal mysteries of our ecosystems and understanding of integral ecology. It acts as an invitation through a doorway meant to inspire others to find their way to preserving what is left of the natural world. Growing my paintings and my sculptures from unseeded mycelium. Using paint, I grow and harvest from my garden. I continue to research, learn and develop new methods of making with sustainable, biomaterials, agricultural waste and fibers.