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Somerset House: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi

The brief given by Somerset House: to create an installation to celebrate the marvellous mushroom for their exhibition Mushrooms: The art, design and future of fungi in April 2020.

Inspired by the contribution that fungi make to ecosystems, LFS and our students created an installation that represented mycelia, the underground network of thin threads that connect plant material and fungus.

Our mixed media installation commissioned by Alter-Projects combined traditional craftsmanship such as weaving with floristry techniques. At the core of this architectural project was our desire to push boundaries in floristry, and to challenge the traditional notions of the discipline.

Bringing this dynamic concept to life required an understanding of the limitations of the space; the materials to be used and the time frame that the installation would be in situ.

We used mitsumata branches to emulate the mycelium. Traditionally used to make Japanese paper, mitsumata is soft to the touch, malleable and dense and is a natural creamy colour. When immersed in water, mitsumata becomes pliable and therefore was the perfect material to weave together to create the frame for SPROUT.

Often viewed as the small, ugly cousins of the plant kingdom, these surprisingly beautiful and wonderful organisms were a world waiting to be explored by us at LFS and because it is our desire at London Flower School to encourage our students to find inspiration beyond the world of flowers, SPROUT took shape.

Photography by Felix Speller.