Decomposition: Riot

I had the opportunity this past weekend to install my jack o lantern fungi in southeastern Oklahoma as part of the Decomposition series.  These are the largest forms I've used for an installation to date, and have a very different effect than the dozens of tiny mushroom caps seen in Colony I and Colony II.  Rather than sheer numbers, the "WOW" factor comes from the loud, warm hue, clustered around this unique stump with a cylinder of heartwood still standing majestically in the center.  A loud, warm, aggressive hue, a tightly packed cluster.... like a riot.
I enjoy this series more and more as I go along, and get more and more excited projecting future installations.  I'm also thinking I need to plan out some ideas on how to create an installation and leave it in place without offending my environmentally responsible conscience.  The materials I use are just too invasive to feel good about leaving out in "the wild".  I'll start brainstorming more on that, and actually I already have an idea brewing although it's for something outside the Decomposition series.  Hopefully I'll have time to start on that this summer...

New Decomposition Installation + Weekend Away

This weekend my husband and I rented a cabin down in Broken Bow, Oklahoma (the southeastern part of the state) just to get away for a few days and enjoy being out in nature.  We planned the trip over a month ago, and since that time I've been busy working on these pieces for my fifth installation for the Decomposition series.  You might recognize them from the 52 Forms of Fungi project, since I made a couple to use as form number 5.  Check back later this week to see the installation--- I'm really happy with how it turned out and can't wait to share it with you!  In the meantime, here are a few more photos from the weekend.  You'd better believe I'll have posts out the wazoo (do people still say that?) depicting all of the awesome fungi and things that we spotted while hiking.

... and Emma got to come too.


Decomposition: Colony III

This past week was a bit of a blur getting ready for my first gallery exhibition, but I am very honored to have been awarded Curator's Choice for my "Decomposition: Colony III" installation at Momentum: Art Doesn't Stand Still in Oklahoma City this year!  There were so many outstanding pieces and talented artists in the exhibition, and I feel very grateful to have shown my work alongside them.  I am even more overwhelmed, grateful, and encouraged to the curators for this event, PLUG Projects from Kansas City.  This has been a very humbling, inspiring and motivational experience, an opportunity that I owe Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition a lot for making possible as well.  While my drive to make art is still going strong because I simply enjoy what I do so much, it was encouraging to see the response to my work by peers and other artists.  I've made some great contacts and am seeing what a great, welcoming, art community is here in OKC.  Now I know for sure that I can't let my visions falter and go unrealized.
Aside from the enjoyment that came from nerding out over wood decay, moss, plants, and assembling all of my other materials, I think my favorite part of the exhibition was watching people observe my piece.  While I avoided hovering nearby because it made me nervous, it was fantastic to see people crouching down to look at the knitted mushroom caps up close, and further inspecting the other components of the installation - the exact response that I was hoping for.  I'm excited to continue on to the next phase (possibly two) of this series which will hopefully come to fruition in the next month or so (installation plans are already slated for April).
Thank you for all the support and kind comments.  I've checked off a major bucket list item here and can't wait to see what comes along next.
If you are unfamiliar with the Decomposition Series, you can see previous installations at the links below:



















Momentum OKC Starts Tonight

 After several hours of assembly, my installation is complete and the exhibition begins this evening!  The photos in this post are some behind the scenes shots - they don't show the final product though, so I hope you can come and see it in person.  If not, I will post photos next week of the installation in full.  Thanks for the encouraging response to this news via this blog and Instagram; your support means a lot to me!

BIG THING #2 aka 52 Forms of Fungi || #4

You might recognize these little guys from my Decomposition seriesColony I and Colony II.  Well, they are making an appearance again because of the second big thing that I alluded to last week... a third installation will take place this next week at Momentum: Art Doesn't Stand Still in Oklahoma City.  This is the first time I have taken part in a juried exhibition, and I am very honored to have been selected for participation.  All of the Decomposition phases have thus far taken place in an existing natural setting, so another unique aspect of this installation is that I am recreating a natural environment to use for placement of the knitted fungi replicas.  It is challenging, but also exhilarating.  It incites the same response in myself that I seek to encourage in observers... attention to detail, awe at natural complexities, and an awareness that there is so much more going on around me than I could ever in my lifetime begin to fathom.
I learned how to use a sander today, which to my delight was actually pretty fun.  This made me happy because woodworking is a long term aspiration of mine... so at least now I know I don't hate one of the main components!  In any case, if you live around the Oklahoma City area I hope you can come out to the show, this Friday or Saturday from 8 to midnight, at 50 Penn Place (across the street from Penn Square Mall).




52 Forms of Fungi || #2

I had a question from Misti recently about whether I record the patterns for these pieces that I'm working on as I go.  The answer is YES, I write them down in case the result is something that I really like and want to duplicate.  For instance, I am already in the process of making more of the forms depicted in this post for a larger installation.  If any of the pieces have potential to be incorporated into the Decomposition series, I've gotta have some record of what I did!  In any case...

52 Forms of Fungi #2!

This polypore was inspired by some conks I saw out in a natural area recently.  The ones I looked at were white in color, but I was purchasing yarn recently and this shade of Knit Picks Palette, called "Pennyroyal", grasped my attention and I knew I had to do something with it.  A project idea came to mind and this is the first piece for that project.  I've been using the Palette yarn A LOT lately, and it's quickly becoming a favorite for these types of projects... so many great colors!

This is the first "fungi" that I've attached only temporarily to a living tree, so it was fun trying out a way to do that (which worked pretty well).  On that note, no trees were harmed during the installation of this fungi!  Although, there was a power-walker who kept circling the nearby trail and was giving me some really funny looks.  It made me giggle to myself a little bit... I can already tell that this project is going to be a lot of fun!  Are you ready for more?

View more posts about the 52 Forms of Fungi project.







52 Forms of Fungi || Intro

(photo: Stacks, from the Decomposition series)
It's no secret that I have an affinity for fungi, and that I am also a slightly obsessed knitter.  I've decided to challenge myself this year (because after all, what is the New Year for if not for challenges) to take my favorite combo (knitting and fungi) to the next level by knitting 52 different forms of fungi in 2013. That's one form of fungi per week, if you do the math, but for the sake of giving myself a little flexibility during the busy times we will just say that the "one per week" has a December 31st deadline.  The above photo is not my first week's fungi - if you've been following the blog for a few months you will recognize this as an image of my Stacks installation from the Decomposition series.  I do have a few parameters that I will follow for this initiative:
1. These will not be all out installations, but merely one or two pieces of varied types of fungi.  Some of them may turn into phases of the Decomposition series, but they don't HAVE to.
2. I may or may not identify the type of fungus - sometimes it's difficult to key out the species and while tree ID is my thing I'm a little new in my interest in mycology.  Some of the pieces may just be inspired by a mushroom/polypore I saw somewhere, whether in the wild or in a book or on the internet.
3. These do not have to be native to my locality.  Because really, who other than a fungi specialist will know the difference!?  I say this biting my tongue a little bit, because I myself am a stickler for making things look "realistic", if by realistic you mean calling out the discrepancies in rock climbing technique in movies like The Descent.  Yeah.  We won't go there, but the focus here is on the forms themselves, not the culture of them.
Those are my main rules, so let's see where this takes us, shall we?  I have a couple of other challenges that I may touch on later (I'm an ambitious one), but I'll save those updates for when I actually have something to update on.  I would like to post some minor goals each month rather than my big year long bucket list (which I did write), and then post again once I accomplish them.  Alas, more to come in the future.  You'll want to stick around.  Will I succeed?  Will I fail?  Will my husband cry out in frustration because we can't ever watch movies with subtitles?  You'll have to wait and find out...