“Sustainability has got capacity to adopt its meaning to the prevailing conditions. It is not a rigid system of rules, not a precept which tells us what to do in any possible situation. Ultimately, what it does is to give us a realm in which to experiment without the risk of failure, room to create new combination in order to learn from them and to make further new combinations. Sustainability is desirable in the sense that we don’t want to be eliminated from the evolution of living things.” ( Hans-Peter Durr )
I have been thinking about small, hard seeds and the growth that leads to wholesome fruit, harvested for human or animal consumption. Small hard seeds cultivated in mindful way; a sustainable practise for sustainable society.
I have plans for moving forward with my research and unravelling parts of it here, however, horizontally sprouting, my mind has been floating around and inside of bread- and it’s community context.
From grain to loaf, an all evolving process, which potentially is possible everywhere, creating moments of community, poetically terrorising in unexpected situations, art activism, resilience and integrity, growing, decaying, fermenting, every day- life death, every day bread. Reconsidering my practise and approaches, finding new ways of enquiry and experimenting, is continuously on my agenda. Home grown food, home grown bread, community for everyone!
Not long ago I wanted to engage in a very public sense and make with people volcanic island with volcano breads- nomadic urban islands was a project which I was organising with a few colleagues from The NewBridge studios. Each Urban Island was meant to have a unique creative autonomy, where artistic actions are open and non-determined; a place where the imaginary is a real construction of social relations that allow you to read and build things in a different way. Promise to myself: make the urban islands happen!
The thoughts about bread and community were brought to my mind through participating in an extraordinary event!
A week ago I went to Liverpool to take part in a very interesting professional development workshop, “Growing alternative art projects in sites of regeneration”.
The workshop was organised by Situations, in association with Liverpool biennial and its focus was on innovative strategies for public art, looking at two art projects where bread baking with communities and food production was used as an alternative mode for urban revitalisation .The workshop was hosted at Homebaked Homebaked Co-operative Anfield, a working art project,community bakery and social enterprise which grew out of the 2010 commission, 2Up 2 Down, by artist Jeanne van Heeswijk. And this very place- its history, geographical,cultural context, was the first focus of the workshop. It was such a perfect site to talk about bread and its wide context ! The bakery with its community,all its usual hustle and bustle happening in the background, scent of baking bread, chatter, regular customers, the working place ambient, all of this was giving a very strong, uplifting impression of the workability of such projects.
Second to give insight into the project where bread/ food production was the substance of public art, was Amy Franceschini from Futurefarmers!
Amy’s talk was so very inspiring and mind opening! She was talking about her different projects, her attitudes and ideas, and how artist can bring transformation in our cities. Amy talk about ‘political process which you can eat’ , about interactive potential of space,and that ‘ the space is not an entity but a relationship- community”. Futurefarmers, were discussing the evolution of their project Flatbread Society, commissioned by Situations for Oslo harbour in Norway, its context, beginnings and how they sustained.
I have been a fun of Futurefarmers, for a while and I would love to form or/and be a part of this type of collective.You can do so much if there are like-minded people from diverse backgrounds to collaborate with!
Sharing and exchanging ideas, thoughts, practice is always enriching and enjoyable experience and now I want more. I felt very inspired and confident to follow through utopian ideas, initiate art-community situations, grow, bake, make, share!
Here are the notes on the Recipe for Success which was collaboratively written in the workshop:
Understanding of place: Historical / Political / Economic Context
Trust: (Re)building it with communities.Between artist & producer / commissioners
Language: Use of defining language such as “the artist”, “the audience” and “the client” can create barriers
Be bold: Just do it. Change will have taken place even if you have to stop.
Engage people: Where do the people go? How do they use their space?
Imagination: Art is not linear. It engages people and acts as a catalyst that results in outcomes that might not be anticipated.
Economic sustainability: Will it last? Is it meant to? Can some of the public art money be diverted to maintenance?
Give permission: Step away from the project and let others take over. Have interim contracts that protect but allow freedom
Commissioning: Strategies. Honesty on all sides. Why is the art being commissioned? What is the expectation? Professional approach. This is where the producer can act as a “translator”.