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MYCOMYTHOPOIEA: An artist residency

Digital collage in natural green hues. It shows a close up photograph of mushrooms growing from a wall collaged together with a photo of books, their pages open like wings. Over the top, text reads: MYCOMYTHOPOEIA, Feed your stories to the earth, feed the earth to your stories

So far, this year has been all about secret projects and NDAs. But here’s something I can actually share.

MYCOMYTHOPOEIA – an Autumnal artist residency with George Street Community Bookshop.

This October/November I’m back in Glossop, reimagining the bookshop through the lens of mycorrhizal networks, where stories, ideas and knowledge are what nourishes the network. And where the fruiting bodies are our creative outputs.

I'll be developing the community programme over the next few weeks, but expect creative writing workshops, experimental mushroom growing and nature-based printmaking.

If you're in Glossop, pop down to George Street Community Bookshop on Saturday 14th Oct (10am–4pm) to share your local knowledge with me, or find out more about my plans. Working with natural ecologies is all quite new to me, so I hope we can experiment and get creative together!

And, if you’re interested in hearing a bit more about why this approach… read on!

Nestled in the High Peak, George Street Community Bookshop sits as part of an ancient ecosystem. One where the natural world and local mythologies collide. So many of our human tales are born of nature – from ancient myths that seek to explain storms or seasonal shifts; to mushroom-infused fairytales and witchy brews; to Glossop’s own distinct local lore. And of course, even our scientific literature has many stories to tell about earthly origins, strange discoveries and the often weird and wonderful properties of flora and fauna.

Likewise, our storytelling networks seem to mirror systems found in nature. Systems like mycorrhizal networks. Ancient, organic and complex, these branching systems of mycelial threads nurture and support whole ecosystems. So too do our stories – a system of proverbial fibres and roots that extend in all directions through history and geography, spreading the ideas, mythologies and knowledge that nurture our minds, shape our identities and grow our culture.

Through this residency, I’m interested in exploring the parallels between storytelling networks and natural ecosystems, and the points at which they overlap. How does the natural world feed our human stories, and how might our stories feed the natural world… literally?

Specifically, I’ll be engaging people with the bookshop through the lens of mycology and mythopoeia – a mycomythopoeic approach if you like! I’ll invite people to explore and imagine the bookshop as a central ‘node’ within a broader local network of stories (human and natural), where our activities and creative outputs become the visible ‘fruiting bodies’ of this network.

What can be learned, created or uncovered when we apply natural processes to the human rituals of making and storytelling? What new ideas, stories or experiences can we imagine when we merge our human network with the natural world?

A square digital collage showing a close up photograph of mushrooms collaged with a photo of books, their pages open like wings. Overlaid text reads: MYCOMYTHOPOEIA, Feed your stories to the earth


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