Deep Ecologies in the Time of Climate Change

Creating living art

A collection of rocks, shells, and moss

BioFungiArt consisted of plants, trees and human body forms that were placed outdoors where viewers can interact with the installations. The project explored the links between the environment, body, health, and climate change. Maria Whiteman

Through a multi-part art series featuring Indiana fungi and climate change, ERI Research Fellow Maria Whiteman explored the relationships between fungi, our bodies, and other organisms in the natural ecosystem. 

The artwork was motivated by the desire to foster a greater understanding of the role fungi plays in a rapidly changing climate and strove to provide a new appreciation of our planet’s “deep, shared ecology” by examining the complex, interspecies relationships between life, death, and decomposition. The work contained and used fungi as part of the conceptual link, resulting in a living artwork that integrates fungi as the building material and alludes to the multifaceted potential fungi have in our environment.

Her “Picturing Indiana Biodiversity” exhibition in Fall 2020 was curated by IU Grunwald Gallery of Art Director Betsy Stirratt and IU Distinguished Professor of Biology Roger Hangarter. It was the first Grunwald exhibit addressing contemporary issues that contribute to biodiversity in the state of Indiana.

BioFungiArt demonstrated the various multitudes in which Whiteman can form and implement visually engaging art, illustrating the properties of fungi and our interconnectedness to the ecology and biodiversity of the mycelia world. The works also represent a melding of science and art.

Updated June 8, 2022

Exhibitions and Talks

  • IU Bicentennial Exhibition: “Touching Fungi and Fungi Touches”
    Evansville Museum, Grunwald Gallery
    Nov 2019 – March 2020
  • “Echoes in the Anthropocene”
    Grunwald Gallery, Bloomington, Ind.
    Feb – April 2020
  • “Symbiosis”
    Ecoartspace, Billboard Art SaveArtSpace, Brooklyn, NY
    Aug – Oct 2020
  • Picturing Indiana Biodiversity
    Grunwald Art Gallery, Bloomington, Ind.
    Fall 2020
  • “Echoes in the Anthropocene”
    Carnegie Center for Art and History, New Albany, Ind.
    Nov – March 2021
  • “Deep Ecology”
    2022 Granfalloon Festival, Bloomington, Ind.
    June 4, 2022