A Shortcut to Mushrooms

I love the artwork in this article from The New York Times about Victorian photocollages. The pieces are so beautifully laid out, especially the one with the mushroom:

...and one side will make you grow shorter.

One Side Will Make You Grow Taller...

I love artwork with mushrooms and toadstools. I’m not sure exactly why; probably it has something to do with my childhood obsessions with Alice in Wonderland, Lord of the Rings (“A shortcut to what?”), Anne of Green Gables, My Side of the Mountain, and anything involving fairies or sprites or gnomes. I also love this kind of mixed media piece…it’s such a fascinating snapshot of the times in which it was made, and the people who made it. It’s so much fun to imagine the family that owned the album this particular collage came from, and what they were thinking of and talking about when they made it. I feel the same is true of fairytales, myths, folktales, science fiction…it’s like a little window into the mind of a person from a given segment of society in a given period of history. For example, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, once I got over the lights-on-all-night, wearing-a-scarf-under-the-covers, can’t-let-anybody-near-my-neck the first time I read it in sixth grade, seems like a time capsule of all the things Victorians were afraid of: female sexuality, reverse invasion, backfiring Colonialism, industrialism, the New Woman (she was new at the time, okay?), medicine, Orientalism, class warfare, you name it. Everything that made middle-class British Isles Victorians tick (I can’t say just English Victorians because Bram Stoker was Irish. He grew up near Oscar Wilde and tried to woo the woman who eventually became Mrs. Wilde…or did Wilde woo Mrs. Stoker? One of the two). FASCINATING. I LIVE for this kind of stuff!

I’m thinking of making a collage like this myself…maybe a photocollage involving Victorian-era or Art Nouveau illustrations, my own photos, and some of my patterns from Sublime Stitching. The possibilities are infinite…a 3D piece to keep, and then photos to take of it and reproduce as prints, or shrink and make Shrinky-Dink or resin jewelry. It just looks like so much FUN. I just need to quit daydreaming about it and actually MAKE the damn things!

Send me links to your artwork or your Etsy stores! Send me inspiration! My muse isn’t descending, can I borrow yours?

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2 Responses to “A Shortcut to Mushrooms”
  1. I cant wait to go watch the new alice in wonderland movie 2010 when it comes out. I first heard about it being remade about a year ago and I was so excited and once I saw who the actors and actresses were going to be I was very happy. I think that

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  1. […] represent the beginning of widespread literacy among people outside the elite classes. They, like the fairytales I mentioned earlier, provide a window into the psyche of that particular sociocultural group. They show what was […]



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