Sarah is a multi- disciplinary artist living and working between West Wales and her studio in Spike Island Bristol. She completed post graduate studies at both at Bath Spa University and The University of the West of England. She is interested in material landscape, the rural and the more than human world.
Reflections on the residency at The Garage:
“It was a beneficial opportunity to be in a neutral space with Anne- Mie and to have the opportunity to place works in relation to each other and to develop conversations and evolve work around these. We made some recordings of our Ffyngau Incantations”
Sarah’s interest in using fungi in her work developed from Holobiont a collaborative project in partnership with the National Botanic Garden in Wales. She displayed her installations there in an exhibition called Cryptic Landscape in 2021-2. The project related to locally gathered lichen and moss and to the herbarium at the NBGW.
Last Autumn she attended a fungi cultivation course on the edge of Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) and has since grown Oyster mushrooms at home, some of which she has used in her work.
Having recently been involved with some work with a small herd of horses, Sarah brought into the studio a horse’s tooth to reflect on the slow growth and the geological layering that is expressed within it.
Sarah made several spore prints from gathered black fungi known in Welsh as Pelen ddu (Daldina concentrica) with it’s English folk name is King Alfred’s Cramp Balls (also known as King Alfred’s cakes).
For more information please go to https://rhysstudio.org/
Anne-Mie Melis is a visual artist based In Pontypridd, Wales. Her work is diverse, multi-disciplinary and has included droplets of tar black flowers intervening in the workings of a colliery, stop motion animations of future plant hybrids as well as photography, drawings, and sculptural installations. Throughout, Anne-Mie considers human impact, both political and ecological, past and present, on the natural environment.
She is keen to explore art as a possible tool for its potential to instigate social and environmental change and regularly collaborates on projects with other people. Momentarily she is part of a research and development project NATURponty, the Pontypridd is a Nature Reserve project (supported by ACW Connect and Flourish Fund)
The residency for me was a reflection on materials that I have been using in my practice before and with the fungi and sculptural mycelium work I’m involved with at the moment (I’m researching the use of colonised hemp substrate with Reishi (G. Lucidum) cultures to grow sculptural pieces). Having found common ground with similar aspects of Sarah’s practice it was an opportunity to spend time with her in the space and to progress for Holobiont2 the ‘Ffyngau Incantations’, sound recordings, using Latin, Welsh, Flemish and English naming of a variety of fungi species found in the natural surroundings of where we each live in Wales. Our conversations were around language, materiality, collaboration, the evolutionary aspect of slow growth, ‘Tanddaear – Underground’
NATURponty – The Pontypridd Nature Reserve
The week joint residency was a valuable opportunity to be together in the space and to scrutinize the process of collaborating. Anne-Mie and Sarah discussed their individual work and explored common threads in their practices. The idea of using the space originated after attending a fungi cultivation course together on the edge of Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) in autumn 2022. Individual works were brought into the space as a starting point and through conversation and being there they experienced how it was communicating with each other; it/they/we/us, our voices, the specimens, the materials, the concepts of ‘Tanddaer – Underground’ and slow growth.