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Experimenting with inoculated hemp, Nora Chavooshian casts intricate sculptures, drawing inspiration from the resilient nature of mycelium.

Chavooshian's connection with mycelium runs deep as she explores its growth patterns. Her recent work focuses on sculptures that interweave personal ancestral trauma, contemporary cultural challenges, and the collective efforts of women to revive threatened cultures. The elegant mirroring of these themes by mycelial networking adds a profound layer to her artistic expression. What captivates Chavooshian most is the collaboration with mycelium as a living microorganism. This relationship has prompted her to expand her artistic perspective, making room for the unique expressions of her silent collaborator. In her artistic journey, Chavooshian invites us to witness the enchanting dance between her creativity and the resilient, organic beauty of mycelium.

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My work involves the tension between what is hidden and what is revealed in the

cracked surfaces of the sculptures. Cracks are the places where mysteries can

start to be unearthed, undercurrents can be plumbed and light can come through.

Many works employ geological references counterpoised with human generated

elements. Recent work tells the story of my grandmother’s survival of the 1915

genocide of Armenians by the Turkish government, and how women are often

tasked with collectively resurrecting their cultures and igniting the will to survive;

inspiring the determination to move forward in a life-affirming direction.

My newest work in progress is linking arms with past and current cultures

struggling to exist.

Honoring our ancestors compels honoring the earth. I’m exploring the vegetative

network of mycelium and algae based compounds. Fungal systems and behavior

exemplify symbiosis, connectivity and resilience which mirror and inform the

potential of radical human cooperation. The materiality of the sculptures focuses

on the generative act of growing material as opposed to extracting from the

earth. The interwoven mycelium hyphae metaphorically bridges the act of art

making with interconnectedness.

Nora Chavooshian

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