Muriel Horvath engages in interdisciplinary artistic practice, informed by her major in environmental studies and her love for ecology. Her work flows between drawing and painting, fiber arts and natural dyeing, as well as papermaking and sculpture. Central to her practice are organic actors such as fungi and plants, which she invites to be collaborators in the work she makes. These materials teach her to respect and learn from the other-than-human world and make art in communion with natural processes. Muriel spent her childhood playing in the dirt and exploring the forests of New Hampshire and Vermont. Her curiosity still drives her work in much the same way as when she was young.
My practice is the product of my deep-rooted desire to cultivate respectful and intimate connections with the systems and species around me and displace utility and other human positions from the center of those relationships. It is formed through layers of conversation and communication. I engage in listening to and learning from my materials and the other-than-human actors that inform and inspire the work I make. I am fascinated by ecology and delight in how this complex world often defies our limited human understanding. Because there are many gaps in our knowledge of these dynamic systems, there is space to hypothesize, fantasize, and pose questions or ideas through artistic practice.
Communion is a multilayered material and conceptual inquiry of real and imagined mycelial networks. It is a slow-growing accumulation. The mycelium forms and plants in this work are as much the artists as I am as they enact performances of growth and decay and have independent lives of their own. The layered, textural, and textile components of this piece explore my imaginings and understandings of environmental structure and communication. My desire with this project is to examine the intricate and exquisite connectivity that makes up our world. I am uninterested in creating work that simply repackages scientific thought and theory to explore ecology. I find that form of understanding to be somewhat sterile as it lacks connection and manufactures and perpetuates an artificial separation between humans and the ecosystems that surround us. Recognition and respect for place must be cultivated, and I choose to do so through my artistic practice, perceptual ecology, and continuous close connection to the world around me. I offer this piece as an experimental extension of mycelial networks for viewers to examine, make connections with, and be enfolded by.