By Marc Alexander from his ‘The Secret Forest’ exhibition. ‘Magic Mushrooms’, oil on canvas, 30cm by 30cm, (2014).
These mushrooms are psychoactive basidiomycete fungus’s, native throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Amanita muscaria has been unintentionally introduced to many countries in the Southern Hemisphere, generally as a symbiont with pine and birch plantations, and is now a true cosmopolitan species. It associates with various deciduous and coniferous trees. Although classified as poisonous, reports of human deaths resulting from its ingestion are extremely rare. After parboiling—which weakens its toxicity and breaks down the mushroom’s psychoactive substances—it is eaten in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. Amanita muscaria is noted for its hallucinogenic properties, with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol. The mushroom was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia, and has a religious significance in these cultures. There has been much speculation on possible traditional use of this mushroom as an intoxicant in other places such as the Middle East, Eurasia, North America, and Scandinavia.
The Secret Forest
I have always been interested in forestry, particularly its aspects of conservation and regeneration. The inspiration for this body of work stems from my love and gratitude toward God for His marvellous creation. I hope to share this appreciation with friends, family and my supporters, specifically drawing attention to the need to protect and care for our forest’s rich biodiversity and fragile ecosystems.
The Secret Forest is a paradise of my imaginings, an ideal and wondrous world, alive with many fascinating life forms. I often get lost in its wooded beauty, trailing shadowy pathways and streams, searching every nook and cranny amongst tangled root systems and moss-covered rocks just so that I can feast my eyes on its hidden treasures. This is a place where the feral imagination could easily envisage the likes of, elves and tree Ents. A place entirely unspoiled by mankind and the age of machines.
Many of Marc’s artworks are available as fine art digital prints. Professionally photographed and printed on large format inkjet printers, these prints are limited edition numbered bottom left and signed bottom right. The paper used is 320g Hahnemuhle archival watercolour paper or Van Gogh cotton canvas. The process employs fade resistant, archival inks, which boast a 100+ year fade-proof guarantee.
These prints are also available in varying sizes. The paper prints are sold plastic wrapped on an acid-free foamcore backing board. The prints on canvas can be provided stretched or rolled in a core for easy transporting. The canvas print is treated with a high quality scratch resistant matt art-sealant. Directly behind the stretched canvas print is a fixed board which gives the frame rigidity, prevents warping and ensures the frame hangs flush against the wall. Large frames are cross braced to further prevent warping.