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Mushroom Lungs by Megan Teutschel

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Ink on 36" x 48" paper, framed (original not for sale, 8 x 12" prints available)

About the Artist:

Megan was born and raised in the North Bay Area in California. Her art exposure began quite early- her parents ran a graphic design business out of the family home. Megan enjoyed art but did not seriously pursue it because she disliked watching her parents’ struggle as a small business.

When Megan was eighteen she was exposed to emergency medicine and found a new love. Anatomy and physiology were truly inspirational for her and she dove into understanding all the tiny, intricate nuances that make bodies function. She worked as an Emergency Medical Technician for six years and then became a Paramedic, but had to step away from ambulance work after a serious back injury. Art became an important escape after Megan’s injury, but it was seen as a temporary distraction instead of a skill to hone and improve.

Megan moved to Olympia, WA in October 2018 and began working with black ink. She was inspired by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and, as always, anatomy. Art has grown from a distraction into part of her daily practice, and at the end of 2019 Megan launched an illustration business. She lives a happy life with three roommates and three dogs and plans to continue careers in both medicine and art.

The Mushroom Body Collection was something that came out of a walk in the Hoh Rainforest in Washington. The rainforest is all old growth trees and is known for its mosses and mushrooms. The first time I visited it, I had never seen anything like it and was immediately inspired to make the Mushroom Heart, which is full of little cavities that could support their own mushroom environments. As soon as I’d finished the Heart I knew I couldn’t stop there, and I immediately started the Lungs and the Mushroom Guts.

This project began as an exercise in anatomical and botanical illustration, but by the end of it I felt the art meant much more. I now look at this collection as a representation of change and growth. Mushrooms are the great decomposers- they break everything down so that their pieces can be used as building blocks for new life. I now see the Mushroom Body Collection as a metaphor for self-evolution: the allowance for death of the old self and for a birth of the new.

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