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Fungi of the Woods

Mississauga, ON

Located within the forested park just outside the Burnhamthorpe Community Centre’s lies ‘Fungi of the Woods,’ an imaginative interpretation of the sociability of mushrooms that is conceptually based upon the ways in which community members connect with each other.

Within a forest park grows a cluster of mushrooms, waiting to be discovered. Popping up when conditions are just right, the mushroom spore grows from an underground network that may stretch for miles. They represent the possibility of transformation, of ecological interconnectedness, of collaboration between species.

Mushrooms have vast underground networks whereby they can communicate with each other to warn of danger, alert to positive growing conditions, and ultimately create a community. Mushrooms, through mycorrhiza, use means of communication that are not immediately visible, and so too do people. Through body language and gestures, cultural norms and values, we also communicate through non-verbal means.

The cluster of sculptural mushrooms is connected to the diagonal path of the open space. The ground plane is playfully coloured by rubberized surfacing strands referencing the network of mycorrhiza around the bases of the mushrooms. Beyond the rubberized surfacing is concrete paving that will be designed and painted as a community engagement activity. The tall sculptural mushroom acts as a canopy to protect visitors from sun, rain, and snow. The two shorter sculptural mushrooms gently curve – places to see and be seen.

‘Fungi of the Woods’ is an artwork that is accessible physically, sonically, and tactilely. The ground plane, seating, and tabletop surfaces are barrier-free. The concrete and rubberized surfacing has clearances for wheelchairs. In terms of sensory activations, the tall sculptural mushroom stem will have raised dimple-like forms that people can run their hands upon, and the hollow metal forms will ring upon tapping. People of varying abilities will be able to engage with the artwork independently and with dignity.

‘Fungi of the Woods’ creates space for community and opens creative possibilities of social connection for all, while subtly communicating the wider connections across people and environments.

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Mississauga, ON


City of Mississauga


for Completion 2024

Project Type

Landscape, Public Art


Lead Artist

Punchclock Metalworks (Fabrication)
faet lab (Structural engineer)

LeuWebb Projects

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