While hiking through the woods in late October, I stumbled upon a fallen tree about 20 feet long that was covered and being taken over by lichen and bracket fungi, a green leaf-like fungus. It was this natural process of things, the fungus thriving off of a dead entity, that in my mind paralleled our use of the natural world and its fight against our destructive tendencies. This body of work speaks about this struggle between the human and the natural.
Fungus grows on dead things and thrives, and it also grows on living things and destroys them. Through this destruction there is a creation of beautiful forms in nature that are too seldom passed by. I use these forms of fungus to represent the natural world in my work along with contrasting human elements. These objects are found while I am on hikes and are chosen because nature has already started to take its course on them. I manipulate them with handmade and painted natural sized fungus, and sometimes I manipulate the items themselves, so it seems as though nature has not only started to destroy, but has begun to create life again. While these found object pieces illustrate what could happen on a natural scale, my installations exaggerate the possibility of nature thriving off of the spaces we occupy. The fungi in these installations are large amplified fabric forms that grow out of and begin to destroy or stain our interior spaces using their naturally destructive qualities.
I am interested in the beauty that is created from these small moments in nature that we pass by so often and how possible it is for these beautiful little things to have their revenge on us, the things we discard and the places we inhabit.
Michelle Podgorski 2010