Mycelial Connections & Fruiting Bodies
Mycelial Connections (2018)
In October 2018, we installed a honeycomb-shaped pyramid in Renfrew Park with hands paralleling the shape of mycelium. Mycelial Connections is a living collaboration between oyster mushrooms and Alder from Renfrew Ravine, artists Carmen Rosen and Willoughby Arevalo, and community members both human and non-human. The hands represent two networks of mycelium growing together and connecting. Over time the mycelium will produce mushrooms, decay the wood, build soil, and cycle nutrients into the ecosystem.
Fruiting Bodies (2019)
Fruiting Bodies is the second phase of Mycelial Connections, with figurative sculptures about the cycles of life, death, and regeneration. They are made with Oyster Mushroom mycelium to bind and eat sawdust, natural textiles dyed with plants and mushrooms, plant materials from Renfrew Ravine including woven English Ivy, Alder, Maple, and Hazel, and are sealed with beeswax.
The human face was inspired by a photo of legendary Renfrew Ravine squatter Ted Twetie taken on his 105th birthday. The salmon is a tribute to the chum salmon that have returned to spawn in Still Creek after many decades of absence.
Lead artists: Willoughby Arevalo and Carmen Rosen, with the support of artists Bea Miller, Rebecca Graham, and Still Moon Arts Society. Special thanks to the many contributing community members (both human and non-human).
The installation of Mycelial Connections and Fruiting Bodies was celebrated on April 25th, 2019 with an Eco-Art Walk & Talk by Carmen and Willoughby. The walk was followed by mushroom soup served in the Vancouver Public Library’s Renfrew Branch.
This project was made possible with funding from City of Vancouver Public Art Program, Vancouver Park Board Neighbourhood Matching Fund, and the BC Arts Council.