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13 September - 24 September
Gyungju Chyon, John Sadar, Rebecca Nel, Yurika McGuire
13 – 24 September 2022
Tuesday – Friday: 12pm – 6pm
Saturdays: 12pm – 4pm
Tuesday and Friday evenings: 6pm – 8pm
..Mycelium is playing a central role in a shift away from materials that are extracted toward materials that are grown.
Mycalicoes presents three experiments with mycelium, the subterranean portion of mushrooms.
“Experiment 1” utilises discarded textiles to make hand-sewn bags which contain mycelium. Yet, as it grows, it escapes containment, and the trace of the textiles is exposed, showing what it was before, and the new life that mycelium brings to the waste. In “Experiment 2”, 128 small mycelium discs are placed together and allowed to grow into one another. Through repetition, the mycelium discs start to resemble a tapestry. Although grown in exactly the same conditions, the unpredictable nature of the living material produces variations in colour and visual texture. “Experiment 3” introduces charcoal to the mycelium. The colour and wood grain of the charcoal provide a counterpoint to the rhizomatic growth of the mycelium. Out of the burnt, inert and lifeless charcoal, new life emerges.
Mycelium grows on cellulose substrates, such as banana, wood, cotton and paper. For the three experiments, mycelium was grown on rice husks, woodchips, discarded textiles and charcoal – biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Unlike industrially processed materials such as timber, steel and plastics, a living material such as mycelium is unpredictable and hard to control. Mycelium is sensitive to its surrounding temperature, humidity, and light.
The materials and processes we use to make our buildings and objects contribute to environmental degradation. In order to address this, together with technologists, architects and designers are working with biomaterials, such as microorganisms, to replace traditional materials such as plastics, leathers, bricks, and concretes. Mycelium is playing a central role in a shift away from materials that are extracted toward materials that are grown.
The work was a part of a commissioned project by KFive, a local furniture company, to Monash University.