Commemorative altar kit with cloth & various ceremonial objects (silkscreen print on cotton, glazed stoneware ceramics, kangaroo grass, quartz crystal from Mt Isa, copper tin, pu-er tea, dried mushrooms, sea salt, soil, palo santo, plastic waste).
To celebrate the 7th anniversary of the First Nations Treaties within Continent 7, formerly known as Australia, this commemorative altar kit pays tribute to a host of revered mushroom companions. Foremost among these is the fungus Aspergillus tubingensis – named by an Italian biologist-priest exactly 300 years ago for its microscopic resemblance to the aspergillum (holy water sprinkler) – lately risen to prominence for helping to clear our oceans of microplastics, and which incidentally forms part of the microbial community in fermented pu-er tea. Also featured on the altar cloth are Laccocephalum mylittae (whose underground sclerotium is eaten raw or roasted), Cyttaria gunnii (spherical, edible fruiting bodies), Phellinus sp. (bracket fungus smoked for sore throats), Podaxis pistillaris (Stalked Puffball, a desert fungus used to darken old men’s whiskers), and the toxic phosphorescent ‘ghost fungus’.
A set of ceremonial ceramic stoneware objects accompany the cloth and may be used for altar festivities involving offerings of soil, salt, dried mushrooms and plastic waste for example, sharing pu-er tea, and burning tree sap or wood fungus. Kangaroo grass, now widely used for our much-loved daily bread, makes a special appearance as part of a contemporary aspergillum that also doubles as a pestle.
Create your own eukaryotic rituals. Breathe together.
Made on Gadigal land with the invaluable assistance of Susie Nelson (drawing), Leila Khazma (ceramics) and Alba Stephen (screenprinting).
Materials: Silk screen print on cotton, glazed stoneware ceramics, kangaroo grass, quartz crystal from Mt Isa, copper tin, pu-er tea, dried mushrooms, sea salt, soil, palo santo, plastic waste
Edition of 1
A dusty pink cotton cloth screen printed with metallic copper designs depicting different mushroom species. One gold ring in the centre which the other designs radiate out from. Phases of the moon are also interspersed amongst the illustration. Placed within the centre of the ring is a multi-peaked crystal with hand-made ceramic button mushrooms. A ceramic handmade teapot sits at the front left. A collection of other handmade ceramic vessels are placed on and around the cotton cloth: pinch pots, mortar and pestle, and two cups with herbal tea. A small copper tin is on its side spilling its contents of small plastic waste pellets.