Infinite Entanglement: Plotting the Urban Forest, 2023

mycelium from oyster and reishi mushrooms (some grown on substrate of pine needles, tea, coffee, cardboard from Rookwood grounds), timber, muslin, steel, fishing line, pvc joints.



This is a living sculpture. Suspended mid-air, between life and death, is a bed of mycelium, the thread like root structure of mushrooms. Normally hidden underground where it decomposes organic matter, we’ve elevated it to propose an alternative to traditional burial methods. Recently developed, mycelium coffins accelerate the process of decomposition. They sequester, rather than produce, CO2. Rather than leach toxins into the soil, mycelium burials release nutrients. Working with nature we can embrace the cycle of life to offer a dignified solution to an environmental challenge, one that supports biodiversity and transforms the cemetery into an urban forest.

About the Artist


Entangled is a collaboration of artists – Belinda Piggott, Dinah Taprell, Jane Lush – who live across WodiWodi, Dharawal, Gadigal, Wangal, Gayamaygal and Garigal Lands, in and around Sydney, NSW.







Welcome to Infinite Entanglement; plotting the urban forest.  This is the first work of our collaboration, ‘Entangled’, that consists of visual artists Jane Lush, Dinah Taprell, and myself, Belinda Piggott. Our work brings together many of our interests including climate change, the cycle of life, soil health, recycling, and bio materials.

Situated directly in line with All Souls Chapel, this is a living sculpture. As you approach, you’ll see a 2.5 metre high geodesic dome studded with cones. It resembles a giant seed pod with timber panels flowing across the surface. Inside you’ll see the platform shrouded in muslin and suspended mid-air. Below this is a floor of forest mulch.

When you look at the bed, you’ll see it's covered in organic matter. This is the same material as the cones on the dome — it’s mycelium, the root-like structure of fungus. Mycelium grows quickly; it creates dense networks. Today these qualities are being investigated to address environmental challenges. It has huge potential in building and construction. For example insulation panels can be quickly and cheaply grown onsite. It’s 100% recyclable, and it actually stores carbon. In nature it breaks down stubborn substances, from wood to rock and even crude oil. Today work is being done to investigate how it can naturally recycle materials such as plastics and even nuclear waste, turning them into nourishment for living organisms.

At Rookwood we’re interested in both these applications. As you’ve seen, we’ve used it in construction for our dome. On the suspended bed we’re referring to the mycelium being used to make coffins, where it avoids CO2 emissions of cremation, soil toxicity, and methane emissions that result from traditional caskets.

In all healthy organic soil the fine tubular structures of many mycelium species grow underground. They branch; they fuse and become entangled with the roots of plants and trees. Here they break down the complex organic matter into nutrients that can be transferred back to the plants.

Our mycelium produces oyster and reishi mushrooms. We fed it substrates from within Rookwood — pine needles, cardboard, coffee grounds and tea leaves. Over the last year working with mycelium we’ve observed the process as a metaphor for our collaboration. We respectfully share individual ideas and skills, intertwining them to find balance and harmony. We are more than the sum of our parts — together we are stronger. We believe that just as mycelium is essential to the life of a forest, the model of collaboration is essential to address the climate crisis. We want our work to generate interest and start conversations about how we can work with nature, rather than fighting against it.

More about this work:

Within the cemetery a whisper
A contemplation on life and death
An organic pod, with mycelium a-bloom,
Shrouded in muslin, inviting quiet breaths.

Within the pod, a bed floats mid-air
Between the worlds of life and death
A bridge links soil and air
Beauty in the natural cycle's breath.

Slowly, the bed descends, week by week
As mycelium speeds decay
The greenest way to bid the earth adieu,
To become part of a greater way.

Collaborating with nature, we embrace
A new approach to the life we all must end
Returning to the earth, our final resting place
With mycelium, our souls do blend.