I am a mushroom spore print artist; I make images with the millions of tiny spores that fall from the gills of mushrooms. Spore printing is a practice that mycologists use for identification and propagation. Here’s how it works: one places a mushroom, gill or pore side down, on a piece of paper. After several hours, the mushroom releases any number of its many tiny spores, and a powdery residue appears on the paper. Air resistance and gravity influence each spore’s alighting. I call the biological medium "mushroom spores on paper." I also photograph and make archival prints of the work, which can be fragile.
My artwork requires an attentive relationship with this most unlikely medium. I cultivate the mushroom Stropharia rugosoannulata in the garden and forage for wild mushrooms in woods and fields. Each mushroom variety possesses its own spore charms; some are velvety black or snowy white, some purplish grey, falling with photographic precision or lazily, like smoke; others make a lush salmon-colored powder.
Spores allow me to create organic abstractions that convey resilience, flexibility, and delicacy.