FOUNTAINS OF THE FORREST

OIL ON BOARD, 1998

This was painted for the British Mycological Society, in my year as its President, to depict the dynamic interrelationships of trees and fungi. Within and upon the branching, enfolding, water-containing surfaces of forest trees and reaching out from there into air and soil are branching, enfolding, water-containing surfaces of finer scale, the mycelial networks of fungi. These networks provide a communications interface for energy transfer from neighbour to neighbour, from living to dead and from dead to living. They maintain the forest in flux as they gather, conserve, explore for and recycle supplies of chemical fuel originating from photosynthesis. So, the fountains of the forest trees are connected and tapped into by the fountains of fungal networks in a moving circulation: an evolutionary spiral of differentiation and integration from past through to unpredictable future; a water delivery from the fire of the sun, through the fire of respiration, and back again to sky, contained within the contextual boundaries of a wood-wide circulation.

fountains of the forest alan rayner occurrity
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