Made of felted wool and silk, and coloured with a mushroom-based dye, these little intruders seem to be climbing up the colonnade, imitating the growth of fungi and lichens on a tree trunk. These felted replicas are based on mushroom specimens gathered in the forests of New Brunswick by the artist. This project reflects the tension between culture and nature, and between the process of regeneration and recovery. Their presence here on the porch columns — the rewilding of the architecture — suggests the passage of time, and the potential for life. In an era of ruin and despair, the fungi’s reclamation is ultimately hopeful.

Materials: Felted wool, silk, leather.

Creative Process

Janice Wright Cheney creates textile-based sculptures and installations. Her work shows an interest in modern notions of the division of cultural and natural distinctions (constructed/disordered, domestic/wild). She depicts animals transgressing their wild nature to occupy the human world, drawing attention to the instability of our presumed detachment from nature. More recently, the artist has become interested in the world of mushrooms and lichens as a result of her reflections on habitat, ecosystems and biodiversity.

The Artist

Janice Wright Cheney lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and teaches at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. Her works can be found at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the New Brunswick Museum, Glenbow Museum and Telus Garden in Vancouver.