The culmination of Boon & Baum’s What We Weave workshop saw Brendan McDowell from Mycosia give a fascinating online talk about fungi and the world of mushrooms. This is presented through green screen technology on a network of fabric screens woven by workshop participants, also featuring an animation by Maria Quintas, mapping and animating the mychorrizal network beneath our feet.
Boon & Baum are the collaborative duo of Joe Boon and Anna Baumgart. Graduating from BA Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins, Boon & Baum went on to study the MFA in Sculpture at the Slade School of Art. Together they use the language of fashion to experiment with notions of ‘dressing’ and ‘wearing’ in relation to ideas of ‘the individual’ and ‘the community’. Using clothing and textiles as their main medium they also work with performance, video and architectural intervention.
In order to extend clothing away from the body, they have dressed buildings, environments and natural forms. Their work is often site specific, exploring how we dress and can be dressed by a space. Positioning their work in the public sphere, they create spaces to play, learn and communicate through haptic interaction. Boon & Baum perceive themselves as similar to the bias-cut of a fabric, woven together whilst approaching ideas from an alternative angle. Collaboration is at the heart of their practice – as individuals inhabiting different genders and sexualities drawing on their experiences to explore the world.
As part of their residency with Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, Boon & Baum worked with members of the public and with young people from The CE Academy to explore the historical and contemporary intersections between technology, nature and textiles and the communication that occurs between trees via the mycorrhizal network.
Funded by Arts Council England as part of Xylophobia, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art’s two-year programme from 2022-2024. Named from the fear of wooden objects or forests, Xylophobia addresses issues of place and belonging, which go to the heart of community feelings of exclusion from both the art world and woodland spaces.