mulch is a new living installation by artist, writer and gardener Sean Roy Parker created in, with and for plants at Phytology. Working amongst the ruins of a former market garden, Victorian church and bomb-site rubble, Parker is reanimating layers of dirt, stories and history with the debris of a chaotic summer, relics of soft seasonal change, and a sculptural gift to the future.
Exhibition times + dates:
1pm - 6pm
Saturday 17th, Sunday 18th, Thursday 22nd, Saturday 24th, Sunday 25th, Thursday 29th, Saturday 1st, 2nd Sunday (free entrance)
Join us at the opening on Thurs 15 September from 6-9pm with fermented snacks from Pao Liu, music from Goblin and poetry from Kate Ball and others. Bring tea bags, coffee grounds and old notes, drawings or sheet music to add to the mulch.
Sheet composting, also known as a lasagne bed, is an indigenous horticulture technique (appropriated by Western permaculture) of building soil health with strata of fresh and dried organic matter that rot down over time and provide habitats for funghi, microbes and insects that aid decomposition, releasing nutrients into the soil and completing a short yet dynamic life cycle and replenishing the ground ready for new life.
Tree limbs, municipal leaf litter, neighbourhood coffee grounds, donated, woodchip, deep time journalling, herbal offcasts, veg market surplus, cultural ephemera, deciduous needles. If successful composting requires organic media which contribute varied textures, weights and porosities, then it can only be enhanced by cultural media which hold varied knowledge, care and intentions. Globally, our soils have been rampantly dilapidated by extractivist monoculture farming, and mulch suggests that we can break the curse with slow, purposeful fermentation and interspecies intimacy.
This project is in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Shopping (MoMS) led by artist Laura Yuile. MoMS is a para-museum, a platform for conversation and collaboration on issues relating to the architecture - both physical, virtual, social, economic, and psychological - of shopping. Throughout 2022, MoMS has presented a number of exhibitions and events. MoMS commissioned Sean Roy Parker to make a new work that responded to how we shop for and consume food.