Walking the Mycelial Web

A COMMUNITY ART & ECOLOGY PROJECT
In parks of the Renfrew-Collingwood Neighborhood

2021

Facilitated by artists Willoughby Arevalo & Isabelle Kirouac, in collaboration with the Collingwood Neighborhood HouseWalking the Mycelial Web is a series of artistic activities inspired by ecology and fungal life, taking place primarily outdoors in three parks of the Renfrew-Collingwood neighborhood, each representing a different ecosystem: Renfrew Ravine Park, a wild but disturbed ravine; Gaston Park, a grassy field surrounded by street trees; and Cariboo Park, a small park with a pond and lively tree and fungal diversity.  

Throughout 2021, community members of all ages, cultures were invited to reflect on the intersections between fungi, place, community, art, and ecology. Participants learned about the fungal biodiversity that exists within their neighborhood and honor fungi through collective, place-based, experiential activities, walks, and art workshops, building healthy and sustainable connections with each other and with nature through art.

This project culminated in the production of a series of free downloadable self-guided audio mushroom walks of the three parks, integrating recorded stories and sounds about the fungi encountered, and an artistic booklet featuring maps, art, writings and movement scores created by the artists and the community members involved in the project.

This project arose as an intersection between the work of Isabelle Kirouac, an interdisciplinary choreographer and movement educator, and the work of Willoughby Arevalo, a mycologist, visual artist and kitchen wizard. Together, they have been exploring the relationships between art and fungal life for the last seven years.

We gratefully acknowledge that we are living, working, playing and learning on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

This Project has been supported through the Neighbourhood Matching Fund of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.

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