Photographer Steve Axford (previously) continues his quest to document some of the world’s most obscure fungi found in locations around Australia. Axford lives and works in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in Australia where he often has to travel no further than his own back yard to make some of the discoveries you see here. The forms of fungi, slime molds, and lichens he prefers to document seem to have no limit in their diverse characteristics. Axford explained when we first featured his work last year that he suspects many of the tropical species he stumbles onto are often completely undocumented. You can follow more of Axford’s discoveries on Flickr and SmugMug.
Cast and hand-shaped abaca, embellished with cotton rag; each copy 14-18″H x 15″W x 16-18″D. Edition of 99.
(S)Edition is an installation of 99 books made to look like common Amanita Muscaria mushrooms by Chicago artist Melissa Jay Craig. The installation has been shown in a various configurations the last few years, and only once in its entirety at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio back in 2010. From her statement about the installation:
Fungus is an agent of change. I’m fascinated with its myriad forms, and I love to go in search of it. I can become more excited by discovering a beautiful fungal growth than by perusing artwork ‘discovered’ for us by curators in contemporary museums. When I was a child, the first time I had the intriguing feeling that the planet carried messages (texts, if you will) for those who were curious enough to look, was when I came upon a group of Amanita Muscaria, huddled together in a dark, secret space under tall pines.
You can see more views of these fungal books on her website. (via Green Chair Press)
Leeds-based textile artist Mister Finch (previously) is a master of artistic recycling as he breathes life into vintage fabrics by transforming them into sculptures of moths, rabbits, mushrooms, and strange hybrid lifeforms. Finch says he often draws inspiration from British folklore for his fairytale creations born from discarded velvet curtains or cloth snipped from old aprons and wedding dresses. From his artist statement:
Making things has always been incredibly important to me and is often an amazing release to get it out of my system. It’s a joy to hunt for things for my work… the lost, found and forgotten all have places in what I make. Most of my pieces use recycled materials, not only as an ethical statement, but I believe they add more authenticity and charm. A story sewn in, woven in.
What you see here is a collection of work from the past year, much more of which he shares on his blog. He also just published his first book, Mister Finch: Living in a Fairy Tale World, and has an upcoming exhibition this spring at Steven Kasher Gallery in New York.
The list of talents attached to Vancouver-based artist Hine Mizushima's name includes stop-motion puppet animator, illustrator, needle felter, toy designer, and sculptor. Her colorful hand-stitched squids, octopi, mushrooms, and medical specimens that might otherwise be described as creepy or crawly are instead infused with ample doses of fluffy and fuzzy. Mizushima exhibited most recently at FOE Gallery and many of her original felt pieces are available over on Etsy.
To think any one of these lifeforms exists in our galaxy, let alone on our planet, simply boggles the mind. Photographer Steve Axford lives and works in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in Australia where he spends his time documenting the living world around him, often traveling to remote locations to seek out rare animals, plants, and even people. But it’s his work tracking down some of the world’s strangest and brilliantly diverse mushrooms and other fungi that has resulted in an audience of online followers who stalk his work on Flickr and SmugMug to see what he’s captured next.
Axford shares via email that most of the mushrooms seen here were photographed around his home and are sub-tropical fungi, but many were also taken in Victoria and Tasmania and are classified as temperate fungi. The temperate fungi are well-known and documented, but the tropical species are much less known and some may have never been photographed before. Mushrooms like the Hairy Mycena and the blue leratiomyces have most likely never been found on the Australian mainland before, and have certainly never been photographed in an artistic way as you’re seeing here.
It was painfully difficult not to include more of Axford’s photography here, so I urge you to explore further. All photos courtesy the photographer. (via Awkward Situationist)
Leratiomyces sp. / Found in Booyong Reserve, Booyong, NSW
Cyptotrama aspratum or Gold tuft
Mauve splitting waxcap
Marasmius sp. / Marasmius haematocephalus
File this under coolest desk lights of all time. Japanese designer Yukio Takano of The Great Mushrooming builds these fun lights using LEDs embedded in synthetic mushrooms that at a quick glance are passable for the real thing. Each light kit is complete with beautiful packaging, battery packs embedded in the base of the wood, and nifty retro on/off switches. While I can’t figure out if these are for sale online you can see tons more in his online gallery. (via fishy inspires, and thnx hiroyoshi!)