Prototaxites

Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites
Prototaxites

Prototaxites

2021, The London Fungus Network, London

Prototaxites was commissioned by the London Fungus Network for their first ever Fungus Fortnight; 14 days of fungi inspired talks, walks, workshops and events. The sculptures have subsequently been exhibited at Kew Gardens, Omved Gardens, All Things Fungi Festival, The Fungi Room and Fractalia Festival. 

The sculptures were made in collaboration with the artist Jack Alexandroff and residents of Waltham Forest. They are a reflection on the overlap between clay, fungi and collaborative art practice. Participants rolled coils and added pinch pots according to patterns laid down by past participants like structures growing from genetic information, all guided by us. Participants became the microbes at the end of our hyphae. 

Their form is based on that of Prototaxites - a prehistoric fungus of outsized proportions, the Tyrannosaurus rex of the fungal world. It lived 400 million years ago at a time when only millipedes, insects and worms crawled on the land and the only plants were liverworts clinging to rivers. This mushroom-like being grew 9 metres tall and would have dominated the landscape. 

The sculptures contains internal pockets to hold mycelium grown on food waste. The holes allow edible mushrooms to periodically fruit.

Photographer: Will Hearle