Saturday, 13 November 2010


Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, August 09, 2008 - October 05, 2008
Art and Environment Conference, October 2nd – 4th

'One of Great Britain’s most prolific and respected Conceptual artists, Chris Drury investigates themes related to the environment, emphasizing cycles of destruction and regeneration in nature, and the ways that humans affect these processes. In Mushrooms |Clouds, Drury brings an international perspective to topics ranging from land and water appropriation to nuclear testing in the American West. In many of his artworks—located inside and outside the Nevada Museum of Art galleries—Drury utilizes materials collected from such places as Pyramid Lake, Donner State Park, and the Nevada Test Site to engage museum guests in the ongoing debates related to scientific, cultural, environmental, and political issues.

As primary regenerators of soil in nature, but also poisonous agents of death, mushrooms are a metaphor for the cycle of destruction and regeneration in the environment. From mushroom spore prints to a sculpture that takes the form of a nuclear mushroom cloud, and a multiple video works that explore cloud-like properties of smoke and water, Drury makes visible the subtle connections between art and environment.'

Destroying Angel – Trinity
3 x 187 cm square canvasses, white printed spore prints and radiating lines of text in white ink and pencil on black prepared canvas. Text reads: 'Amanita virosa- Destroying angel'

A full-color book titled Chris Drury: Mushrooms | Clouds will be co-published in the summer of 2009 by the Nevada Museum of Art and the Center for American Places at Columbia College Chicago, with distribution by the University of Chicago Press. Authored by Ann M. Wolfe, Nevada Museum of Art Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, the publication includes essays by Chris Drury and Colin Robertson, Nevada Museum of Art Curator of Education. Copies may be reserved in The Store at the Nevada Museum of Art.

Related links
For more information on this exhibition see the following:
1) My blog
2) Nevada Museum of Art
3) Blogger: Mushrooms | Clouds Blog
4) YouTube: Cloud Pool Chamber Video Podcast
5) YouTube: Winnemucca Whirlwind Video Podcast
6) Flickr: Cloud Pool Chamber Installation Photo Stream
7) Flickr: Winnemucca Whirlwind Installation Photo Stream
6) Facebook: Nevada Museum of Art

2000- 2001 MUSHROOM WHEEL 365 objects, one for each day of the year, on the two outer circumferences.

Hand written diary entries in lines radiating from the central mushroom spore print on paper, mounted on board in 12 segments.

275 cm diameter.

DRURY says of his work with the mushrooms that 'I have a continuing fascination with mushrooms and their spore prints. Up until this summer (2003) when I saw two Destroying Angels (Amanita virosa) growing in the forests of Ontario, I had never seen one. Because of this I had to use its colourful relative, Amanita muscaria for the central spore print. If you cut off the stem of a mushroom and place it on a piece of paper overnight, covered with a bowl, it will drop its spores onto the paper in the pattern of the gills. The spore print here is digitally scanned and printed in three versions and altered by changing the contrast in Photoshop. The prints are glued and ironed onto the canvas which is built up in layers of gesso to form a surface for writing.
This radiating pattern of spore lines draws you in as a mandala would, but if you take a magnifying glass and follow one line from the centre out to the periphery then you will notice that each line branches and branches again like the limb of a tree. In making these densely written works this is in fact what I do: I follow the principle of the line that branches, only in densely hand-written words, in inks of different tones, with reed pens of different thickness, gathered from the banks of the river (everything flows here) and which have to be constantly sharpened and dried. The written words are repeated and hypnotic, like a mantra. The words cease to have meaning, the concentration is on the sound. A word that has a good sound is easy to write. It flows on to the canvas. The concentration is on the sound, the shape, the size, the colour, the tone, the branches. The words are the mantra that shape the mandala.

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