Emily Wood (She/her)
My practice is a synthesis of art, material design, and ecology, collaborating with living systems to imagine and create ecological relations and regenerative futures. Rooted in process-based and experimental practice, I investigate local ecologies and global environmental concerns, emphasising new methodologies that locate the complexity of ecosystems at the centre of creative practice. I utilise innovative material and bio-informed processes to investigate an entanglement of symbiotic collaborations between environment and organism; human and non-human ecologies. I embrace a tentacular approach to making through multi-species collaboration with ecologists, mycologists, and perfumers, alongside a host of non-human organisms.
Material Ecology in the Symbiocene
Material Ecology in the Symbiocene presents a vision for a regenerative future where materials and objects are engineered by, for, and with nature. Derived from the sea and the earth, these materials and the ecologies they inhabit surpass man-made design through their sustainability, circularity, and adaptability. Blurring the boundaries of making and growing, audiences are invited to interrogate hierarchies between human and non-human species, culture and nature, and linear and circular economies. The installation considers ethics of care and responsibility at the ecosystem level, proposing a future where humanity and nature can collaborate and co-exist in harmony.
Material Ecology in the Symbiocene portrays a coming-together of organisms, giving form to one another through friction, growth, and decay. The final objects were constructed from mycelium, seaweed, and bioplastic.
Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus consisting of thread-like filaments called hyphae. It can be grown to any desired form, transforming agricultural waste products into high performance, sustainable objects. Mycelium is essential to the health of ecosystems, aiding in the decomposition and regeneration process.
Seaweed is among the fastest-growing organism on the earth and a storer of CO2 emissions. It acts as a biofilter, capturing and processing chemical runoff and excess nutrients to mitigate pollution and increase climate change resilience. The cupboard is fitted with a curtain embellished with naturally-dyed bioplastic sequins. Bioplastic is a natural plastic derived from agar, a polysaccharide extracted from red algae. The material could serve a crucial role in building a regenerative future, curving our dependency on petroleum-based plastics.
Eventually, these materials will return to the soil to support ecosystem health and new growth.
Wooden workstation, mycelium, seaweed, wood, bioplastic, lichen, glass jars, glass bottles, magnifying glass, and other materials, 120 x 92 x 190 cm, 2022
object/organism explores how humans are inextricably rooted in, and entangled with, the natural world.
Humans are a part of nature, yet in pursuit of industrial and technological advancement, we have separated ourselves from the Earth. Confronting our material relationships, the work points toward a future in which human-made and nature-grown become one.
Mycelium binds with agricultural hemp hurds to create a solid composite- alive, breathing, autonomous and organic. Once unmoulded, it is taken over by fruiting bodies that emerge from the structure.
Mycelium and birch plywood, 33 x 33 x 65 cm, 2022
Sea to Soil
Sea to Soil is an experimental publication which engages with environmental activism, ecology, and sustainability through creative practice. A call for community action, the publication contains a culmination of processes, recipes, and ideas to encourage readers to collaborate with natural materials and living processes, creating experimental artworks and speculative design objects.
36-page full colour, A5. Limited edition of 50.
The publication and its manufacturing processes are vegan. Printed on FSC accredited paper using bio-based inks and a CO₂ neutral press.
An olfactory piece, blended by the artist in collaboration with a perfumer, transports us to the forest where the Oyster mushroom grows.
Fragrance, glass Petri dishes, glass jar, paper, samples of mushroom, dirt, star anise, size variable, 2022