Fungi Town Caravan
The Fungi Town Caravan is an art installation on wheels that artist Kathy Holowko has been touring through the Macedon Ranges. The artwork appears in various places where the community of the Macedon Ranges gather and provides an interactive experience for people of all ages.
The movable artwork was designed to respond to the ongoing need to build community connection following the June 2021 storm event.
The journey so far
The Fungi Caravan debuted at the Regenerating the Ranges Festival which was held on the International Day of Disaster Resilience. Attendees wrote messages about their storm experience on the caravan wall (before it was painted) and these remain in the layers of the work.
Here are some of them:
“It was a very scary experience. The pager went off all hours. I was on call for work to help those in need. Hard to know what to do to help. The emergency app is going off all the time this week too, it reminds me of last year. I see the trees are down and feel very very sad. Will we ever recover?’
“I remember feeling scared about being disconnected from friends and family. The storm also brought home the realities of climate change and how it’s going to affect my lifestyle”
“I ran through the storm along Ashbourne Rd to get to my old dog. Tree falling all around me but I just knew I would be ok".
“The new growth on the damaged trees gives me hope.”
Fungi Town was transformed for its next appearance at the Macedon Ranges Bliss Festival at Hanging Rock with an eye catching bright pink exterior. The doors swung open to reveal a lush green interior and a variety of fungi sculptures inside. Attendees enjoyed books, creating fungi sculptures, conversation and sharing experiences about the June storm.
Students at Newham Primary School were the next group who delighted in a visit by the Fungi Town Caravan in December. Each class spent time with the artist looking at images of fungi and learning about fungi’s role in the process of regeneration and recovery after the storm. Students shared their own knowledge, had the chance to reflect on their storm experiences and learn about a key element in the cyclic nature of the forests transformation after this event. They were given the opportunity to have a new point of focus within the ecology around them.
The Fungi Caravan is delivered in partnership with Woodend Neighbourhood House and supported by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) ‘Targeted Funding Initiative’ grant.Grants continue to be an important way for the storm recovery team to secure funding which supports psychosocial recovery in the community.
Visit the Fungi Town Caravan
As we finalise Fungi Caravan events for 2023 at local township markets and the Autumn Festival, details will be added below.
About the artist
"I love sculpture, and its many dimensions. I am torn between utopia and dystopia, marveling and questioning nature and humanity.
I am interested in the effects that urban life has upon our understanding of ecology. In human centric environments, I search for narratives and connections that can help reconsider our world as a cyclical, and shared habitat.
In my work I have told tails of romance, searched for evidence of the evolution of beauty, camouflaged snakes into city buildings, made wild urban animals visible in public space, I’ve been on safari through a human-made wilderness, untangled transgenic trends in insect fibres and explored piece of mind in the age of plastic. I do this on my own, and in collaboration with artists, museums, ecologists, rangers, wild life carers, scientists, industry and other humans of all scales.
I believe in the power of art to help learn, to think, to meditate … and it is my way to mirror cultural environmental ideologies in the hope of building positive future visions."
Visit artist website