Recently, Central West community members gathered on a frosty winter’s morning to explore and create at Raintree Farm – Billimari, for a day of talks, field studies and studio activity. Presentations and hands on workshops were led by Orange-based Department of Primary Industries, Herbarium and Mycology Curator Dr Jordan Bailey, and renowned ceramicist Rebecca Dowling.
The group learnt about fungal colonies, mycology, hyphae, bioremediation, tree communication and why these processes are vital to soil and plant health. Highlights included Jordan delivering an engaging talk centred on the extraordinary Mycology and Herbarium Department’s collection, with Rebecca guiding us later on a clay and fungi forage in the paddocks as inspiration to design a ‘Mycorrhizal network’ back in her ceramic studio.
The collaborative work is now in the process of a bisque fire and glaze we will update on the final result in July. The group was a combination of artists, school educators, regenerative farmers, HSC students and youth.
“The Saturday Workshop was thoroughly informative and engaging, and the way it was conducted meant that it was relaxed and enabled workshop attendees to ask questions,” said one of the participants, Michelle Wood who commented that walking around the property also enabled unpacking of the information received.
“Each of us was really focused on the amount of fungi we were able to identify,” she said. “Using the clay from the property was magical, and making collaborative clay fungi networks further enabled us to drill down into what we had learnt.”
“The catering was magnificent! Since my new arrival to country life, this was the best day yet! Thank you ”
“It’s always wonderful to have an opportunity to expand your knowledge and understanding of the natural world; and even better when you can translate this into a physical body of art work. Thanks to Rebecca and Jordan for their generosity. The entire group were super friendly and great to share this experience with. I look forward to future workshops,” said Teresa another Wood Wide Web participant
Take a look at the CORRIDOR project’s winter newsletter to learn about upcoming year round Science Hub workshops, youth holiday programs and what’s coming up in National Science Week in the Central West.
The CORRIDOR project is the lead partner for the Orange Cowra Cabonne Science Hub supported by Inspiring Australia NSW.