Frieze: Seven Highlights from the Edinburgh Art Festival

Figgy Guyver , Frieze, August 21 2019

‘All That the Rain Promises and More’, a group exhibition of predominantly women artists, takes its name from the title of a field guide to wild mushrooms by cult mycologist David Arora (1991). Fungi crop up throughout the show, which is set across three rooms of a Georgian townhouse: the first book dedicated to documenting British mushrooms is opened, altar like, to the page of a phallic-looking specimen (James SowerbyColoured Figures of English Fungi and Mushroom, Volume 3, 1787) while two mid-century paintings by surrealist Ithell Colquhoun depict sprouting fungal growths. Contemporary works are on display too, including process-led watercolours from Emma Talbot (all works 2019) and Helen Chadwick’s bronze cucumbers with fur cuffs (I Thee Wed, 1993). The exhibition marks the curatorial debut of artist Aimee Parrott, whose yonic stained-glass window lights up the rear room (Untitled, 2019) and whose small works on cotton, such as Hypogean (2019), are dotted throughout the show. Interpretations of the mushroom here are broad and extend to its mycelium structure – a symbol for interconnectedness and the symbiotic relationship between all things.