Natura Design Studios
Lei Zhou An
British Mycological Society
Jerk Off BBQ
Portobello Mushroom Man
M.A.R.S Print Studio
BBC Radio 6 with Cerys Matthews
Country Life | Things to do
Hello! Magazine | Things to do
Londonist | Things to do
Royal Society of Biology | Biology Week
Time Out | Fungi Fest
Even though people and cultures all over the world have a relationship with fungi, they are rarely celebrated. The work that fungi does is so often left in the dark, its alien-like forms and complex behaviours often misunderstood or under-represented. Alex and Chloe gathered artists, designers, foragers, chefs, mycologists, writers and thinkers to celebrate fungi at an all-day festival. The festival proposes that fungi can be a source of inspiration to imagine new ways of understanding and attuning to the world.
Fungi are fundamental to life on earth. They inhabit the air, soil and water. They represent the cycle of life and death; through decomposing organic and synthetic matter such as dead roots and fruits, petroleum and metals - they spin our carbon cycle. Psychedelic strains have fostered spiritual journeys across cultures and time, and are now researched as a treatment for mental illness. Fungi have brought mystical elements to folklore, fairy tales and literature. They have been used for centuries in medicinal practices, they make our antibiotics, vitamins. Edible varieties have made their way into all culinary cultures. Simply, fungi challenge our understanding of ecology, systems, culture and consciousness.
As everyone is responding to the climate crisis, we think it is important to recognise that our social, economic and political systems have separated us from our habitat, creating an imagined hierarchy between human society and other living systems. The world is co-created by all living organisms and as humans we need to start to build different relationships with each other and with nature. Fungi have existed far longer than humans and have done so through adapting. This ability has made them resilient to ever-changing circumstances. They are a great teacher inspiring us to think about mutual relationships and how we can build communities to help one another thrive.
Fungi Fest was a space to cross-pollinate ideas between disciplines and people – asking in a time of climate crisis, when humans are consciously contemplating the future, what can we learn from fungi?