In association with Arusha Gallery, artist and guest curator Aimée Parrott presents All That the Rain Promises and More…
This exhibition takes the fruiting body of the fungus; the mushroom as a starting point, a symbolic organism representing, in an age of precariousness, an unlikely source of hope; a symbol of connectivity, symbiosis and renewal.
Crossing multiple generations, with work from Helen Chadwick, Ithell Colquhoun, Sean Steadman and Paloma Proudfoot, the 17 selected artists share a preoccupation with the symbiotic connection we each have with our environment. In their own way each artist acknowledges the human body as a porous, precarious site and life as a precarious condition.
Fungi play a huge part in the ecosystems of coordinated organisms, over 90% of plant life is reliant on fungi; they have evolved alongside one another forming mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships. Underground webs of mycelium (the vegetative body of the fungus) underpin life, bringing structure and nutrients to the soil. Fungi are a gateway species - they breakdown matter and create structure and nutrients to support other life forms. A mushroom is the fruiting body of the fungus, only emerging when it wishes to reproduce through the secretion of spores.
As late as the 19th century, throughout the United Kingdom mushrooms were objects of superstition and fear, they were seen as ill omens often connected to witches, the devil and the underworld. However though much of the life and workings of fungus is still mysterious, we are beginning to understand elements of its complexity, adaptability and as a gateway species, its potential to rebalance some of the systems we have pulled out of kilter.
The last forty years has seen a huge increase in our understanding of the microscopic world. Scientists have shown that within just a teaspoon of soil there exists an microcosmic universe of complex interdependent lifeforms, invisible to the human eye. We now know that each supposedly ‘individual’ being in fact comprises an entire ecosystem of coordinated organisms, and thus no living thing on the planet can now be deemed a single biological entity.
These revelations challenge the long held belief that humans are some sort of primary species occupying a separate and elevated platform of existence. ‘I’ has become obsolete because in reality ‘I’ is a community.
25 July – 14 September
Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm; Sun, 1 – 5pm
13A Dundas Street,
Edinburgh , EH3 6QG