Melissa Maddonni Haims and Josh Haims
January 28, 2016 – April 2, 2016
Opening Reception – January 28, 6 – 8 pm.
Both whimsical and delicate, these richly colored artworks give small windows into the vibrant forest floor. In fiber sculpture and photographs, The Foragers explores how nature can create something from almost nothing. Featuring all manner of fungi – brackets, buttons, ruffles, and the quintessential toadstool – Melissa Maddonni Haims’ and Josh Haims’ work celebrates the diversity and surprise of wild mushrooms in the forest ecosystem.
For Melissa, mushrooms have represented a journey in biomimicry, sparked by reading Janine Benyus’ seminal text on the subject. Inspired by the forms of these fungi, Melissa creates crochet mushrooms and assembles forest tableaus using bark and wood foraged in local forests. Fiber feels like a completely appropriate medium to explore the mycology of our local forests, analogous to the fibrous mycelium through which the fungus spread in the soil before fruiting into the diverse and beautiful mushroom forms.
Josh’s photographs bring these mushrooms to saturated, luminescent life. The images glow in warm hues, minute details from the forest floor illuminated and celebrated. The photographs capture a perfect stillness, moments of time frozen, and at the same time demonstrate living energy embodied.
This husband-wife team has long been mesmerized by mushrooms. Early in their relationship, Josh, who is from Manhattan, recommended that they go mushroom foraging in Fairmount Park when visiting Melissa in her native Philadelphia. Having never been mushroom foraging before, the two stumbled over rocks and downed wood in the forest near the Valley Green Inn in the Wissahickon. What seemed frivolous and foolish at first turned into twenty years of photographing local fungi and mycology enthusiasm.
RSVP to learn how to make you own crochet mushrooms at our Mushroom Crochet Workshop.
To read more about Melissa Maddonni Haims’ & Josh Haims’ exhibition at the Schuylkill Center, check out this post on the Schuylkill Center’s blog: The Foragers: A World of Enchantment and Intimacy.
For more information about Melissa Maddonni Haims, visit her website here.