Imagine walking from the Pennsylvania farmlands into the lush, woody forests near Founding Farmers King of Prussia and stumbling across a magic mushroom, and perhaps nibbling on it. This idea led Co-Owner Dan Simons to commission Patrick Cabry to create a piece of art for us. His multilayered installation draws our attention to the impact humans and technology have on our planet and waterways. A mosaic tile map illustrates the topography of the region surrounding Founding Farmers King of Prussia. Cabry replicates the colors and graphics of current mapping technology to illustrate alternative meanings. Here, blue and red don’t indicate road traffic flow and congestion, but instead the diagonal blue tile represents our flowing local tributary, the Schuylkill River. The river changes to red tile as it runs past a company north of Valley Forge with an ongoing chemical leak from the 1970s-90s that continues to impact local ground water. The red section of the river continues through and around Philadelphia’s industrial plants. As the river runs past King of Prussia, it returns to blue tile, highlighting our commitment to clean water, with the Founding Farmers water filtration system and ongoing environmental initiatives, such as pursuing LEED certification.
Just below the waterways, The Farm Forest of Enchanted Wonderment reveals bits and pieces honoring local and sustainably sourced-vendors, including mushroom farmers, whose livelihood as well as our own, is dependent on clean, non-toxic drinking water. This section of the installation includes some pieces from our very own designer, Michelle Burk, who hand-lettered the mushrooms created by artist Constance Stuven.
Cabry is a native of Garnet Valley, PA. He says his fascination with nature stems from when he worked in nurseries selling flowers, shrubs, and trees. The process of selling organic matter, solely as an aesthetic feature to landscape architecture, brought him to question what is artificial and what is true to nature. He uses the horticultural method of grafting as a vehicle to bring together objects and people, with a focus on the moment of material connection. “In my sculptures, my intention is to breathe new life into decaying organic matter via my own methods of grafting, and to juxtapose relationships of materials such as metals, plastics, concrete, plaster, and raw trees or wood,” says Cabry. “I draw attention to areas of our environment where nature and society intersect. One clear example of this intersection can be seen literally, in a tree that has grown through a cyclone fence to adapt to a space that humans have altered. My intention is to discover whether humankind and nature co-exist materially, in these subtle moments of intersection.”
The Farm Forest of Enchanted Wonderment
Mixed Media, 2017