Fairy Ring, 2007

Art in the Woods, Stillmoreroots Group, Stillmore GA

At Art in the Woods, Artists and viewers alike are drawn to nature’s details evident in this patch of trees. This year, I couldn’t help but notice the varieties of mushrooms I had not seen before. I started researching into fairy rings, various types of mushrooms that form growing cicles under particular circumstances. As the name evidences, they have conjured up many stories of the supernatural sort throughout the histories of many cultures. Science has explained these myths away, but the phenomenon interests me, as there is both much science and myth inherent.

This fairy ring is participatory, as the vessels contain fragments of photographs that the viewer assembles into a whole. This ties in with my search for family history, in how I attempt this through more intuitive means than literal searches. For this and other reasons, I wanted to entice the viewer’s sense of smell, which is a more primitive and instinctual sense than our typical use of sight. Each of the twelve vesslels are marked with a particular spice, and each contains twelve fragments of a photo. A table across from the vessel has a sample of the spice for easier smelling. The viewer then searches out in the woods the photograph to which their piece belongs, given only a suggestion of the image and a border in the accompanying spice.