lichen series | spore patterns

This piece is inspired by the biological structures of mushroom gills and the patterns the spores leave behind. The over 300 ceramic forms are based on a type of shelf fungus that has a leathery surface and wedge shaped form that anchors itself to the side of decaying trees. This piece is a 12 foot diameter circle about 18″ high off the ground and is placed at the Price Sculpture Forest on Whidbey Island in Washington state.

lichen series | spore patterns | public art | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Conceptually, mushrooms speak of the cycle of life and death, since mycelium begins breaking down the dead waste in nature and the fruits of the mycelium (the mushrooms) are the new growth that comes from it. The spores that are dropped from the mushroom gills, spread the growth and the cycle continues. Mycelium are some of the largest living organisms on earth stretching underground over miles of terrain creating networks of communication throughout the landscape. This network makes them a symbol of growth through connection and how we are all connected to each other and to the systems and structures of nature.