A commensal shelf, part of 'Dust Sheet, Embroided Snow, Project Gallery, Arundel, 2019.


A commensal shelf is based upon research into differing modes of ecological mutualism.  Etymologically, commensalism means 'sharing a table', and describes a mutually beneficial interaction between organisms.


The shelf is made from recycled wood, inlaid with 'green elfcup' fungus infused oak, in a nod to the traditional Tunbridge ware style of marquetry.  The objects on the shelf include dried sourdough starter in a jar engraved with proto-cunneiform and alchemical symbols related to wheat, water, air and fermentation.  Alexanders plant affected by a rust fungus, secretions of coral polyps and more.