January- March 2022

The Fly Agaric mushroom in the snow signals our hibernation at the gallery. It is our custom to close the gallery to the public for the winter season. We use this time for planning and refurbishment. For the first time this year we are also organising a symposium. Ideally it will be both live and on-line. Look out for that on the event pages. Apart from that, we will see you from 25 March for the first project and exhibition for the year: FieldWork, 25 March – 25 June 2022.

A symbol of winter hibernation

Alexandra Steiner Fly agaric in showy wood
Alexandra Steiner’s image of a Fly Agaric mushroom in the snow forms a perfect link from the last exhibition of the year. Alexandra Steiner was one of the artists featured in Nature’s Mysterious Networks, Mushrooms, Mycelia and Yeasts. She is a scientist and keen mycologist and took this photograph in a snowy Austrian wood near her home.

The Fly Agaric has a long association with the winter season especially in Central and Eastern Europe. Originating in Siberian folklore and winter custom, its red and white colour has become characteristic of Santa Claus’s coat. Apparently, as reindeer are fond of eating this mushroom, its hallucinogenic property gave them their legendary ability to fly! Alexandra sent it to us with the heading ‘winter hibernation’ and so it appears here as an appropriate signal.