madeline cass

instagram: @madelinecass

About the artist.
I am an ethnobotanist and mycologist. My work examines relationships between humans and nature. Walking in wild places is an important part of my practice. Spending time outdoors feeds me spiritually. I feel lucky to have this intense connection to the landscape, and somehow it keeps growing.

My current work is about the salt marshes north of Lincoln. Even as a native Lincolnite, for most of my life I’ve only had a vague awareness of the salt marshes. The marshes are perhaps mostly known about because of the endangered Salt Creek Tiger Beetle that lives there. The beetle's endangered status is the main force that has slowed developers from turning the last 1,000 acres of the original 20,000 acres of marshes into car dealerships and motels. I’ve begun asking people about their relationship or understanding of the marsh and am more often than not met with blank stares or a vague, “oh yeah, where’s that again?”, despite it being a short drive from most places in Lincoln.

The subtle beauty and biological diversity deserves investigation and celebration.


Who or what are your artistic influences and how have they impacted you or your work?
Human relationships with nature.

Radical Mycology was the stimulus for my total obsession with fungi.

I wish James Turrell would adopt and / or hire me. I could just live in one of his skyspaces forever.

Björk's interdisciplinary practice and rigor inspire me endlessly. Obviously I love her biophilia album specifically.

Camille Henrot is also an incredible interdisciplinary artist, and her video piece Grosse Fatigue really drove me to make my synth-muck work.

I'd like to ask Hamilton Morris to date me. His passion for psychoactive substances really turns me on.

Do you have any “rituals” that you have to do before, after, or during your art making to keep you creating or put you in the mood to create work?
Driving my motorcycle. Dancing like a maniac. Doing handstands get the blood flowing. I have to get out of my own head a bit, try to forget about outcomes, just play. Drinking some wine usually stimulates something too.