Gills of other creatures

Part of Uncanny stories Group Exhibition, Unisa Art Gallery. Opening 7 Dec. 2021
Opening address by Usha Seejarim

Intrigued by Merlin Sheldrake’s sensuous descriptions of a hidden world where living matter becomes transformed by a species neither animal nor plant, the artist considers fungi and mycelia to be a metaphor for striving to connect to the inaudible, the in-between, the rich alchemy of life.  Digital works and ink drawings in this series explore mushrooms, but more specifically, a sense of their hidden life. Whilst the works look at the fruiting body of fungi, the tone and layering explore mechanisms that hint at the body of the mycelial layers that form part of a world that we rarely see and know little about. The mycelial mesh is a massive entangled world beneath us, surrounding us - some even living within us.  On a personal level the works are about thinking how life continues beyond trauma and how the complex biology of our own emotional being are as hidden as fungi’s energy. The tracing of lines of gills and their twists and spills, echoes the folds of our synapses where memory is buried in our cells. 

Selected works were also exhibited at part of other Group Exhibitions:

 Turbine Art Fair (TAF) 2021, EDG2020 Art Gallery. Sandton:  Sept. - Oct. 2021,

MESH. The fabric of friends, Gallery RK Contemporary, Riebeek-Kasteel, Cape. 3 April - 2 May 2022 (along with later works).

 

References:

Braidotti, R. 2019. A Theoretical Framework for the Critical Posthumanities, in Theory, Culture & Society, 36(6): 31–61. 

Hillman, J. 2010. Alchemical psychology. Putnam, Conn.: Spring Publications.

Sheldrake, M. 2021. Entangled life. How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures. Audiobook.

Unisa Art Gallery, Uncanny Stories in ArtGo, a section of ArtTimesThe exhibition features work from Unisa Staff members, Third Level students and maquettes for the developing Unisa Science Campus Art Walk, SA Art Times, 2021/2022, (Dec/Jan):81