Fungi and lichens as media prevail in all artworks on display, and some works are informed by Golem Grad Island (also known as Snake Island) or they incorporate rare or interesting fungi species distinctive of this desert island. The artworks are characterised by expressive and symbolic representations, and they also include poetry references. The fungi and lichens have been obtained from dry collections or during personal forays, in collaboration with scientists from the Mycological Laboratory within the Faculty of Natural Science in Skopje.
A mycorrhiza is a symbiotic association between a fungus and the roots of a vascular plant. In this relationship, the fungus obtains some of its sugars from the plant, while the plant benefits from the uptake of mineral nutrients or water by the fungal hyphae. Тhere can be circumstances where the fungus is weakly pathogenic, and others in which the plant feeds from the fungus.
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In my art practice I often use fungi and lichens as media, obtained from dry collections or harvested during personal forays, and in collaboration with scientists who also assist in species identification. I have always found mesmerising the fungi mysterious and resilient ways of existence in nature along with the plethora of stupendous forms. To me, their extraordinariness perfectly corresponds with the alluring desert island of Golem Grad Island in Lake Prespa, with its out-of-this-world ambient owing to the pristine Grecian juniper forest, the rare fungi, abundance of snakes and the omnipresent sound of cormorants. Several artworks are informed by the island itself, and significant fungi from Golem Grad are applied to express both feelings of ecstasy and suffering or render symbolic representations.
The largest work in the show - 'Poems, Suitcases', consists of a suitcase-painting and 19 miniatures, and it is inspired by the oeuvre of the American poet Sylvia Plath and her poem ''Mushrooms''. The inscriptions in the art installation are made of lichens, which are a symbiotic association between two fungal species and an alga or cyanobacterium. The closing lines of this poem, ''We shall by morning / Inherit the earth./ Our foot’s in the door.'', have an underlying purport I aim to convey: the fascinating power of poetry via fungi as symbols of poems.
I maintain that the aesthetics of nature can faithfully epitomise human states of mind and heart, and that they are intrinsically related just as many fungi and plants are connected in a secretive symbiosis called Mycorrhiza - the title of the current exhibition.
For exhibition images, click here .