A series of artist residencies exploring heritage, sustainability and innovation in food production and organic farming.
Cape Farewell is proud to launch a series of FarmArt residencies, inviting artists to engage diverse, wide-reaching audiences with rural narratives. Working at the frontiers of natural, social and climatic change, the artists will interrogate the inspirational resilience and social ties that form when local communities embrace heritage, sustainability, and innovation.
For the first residency renowned land artist Chris Drury, novelist, poet and freelance writer Kay Syrad and Dorset based artist Guy Martin were commissioned to work in the area of Sydling St. Nicholas, Dorset – an area that has been indicated as AONB, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They were invited to develop a personal response to the working life sustained by the valley, as a natural, cultural and community habitat.
Chris Drury and Kay Syrad
In recent years, several family-run farms in the downlands of West Dorset have switched to organic farming, each for different reasons. Food is fundamental to life. The way we produce it is the most pressing issue of our times. So why is that a group of farmers in this small, rural community in Sydling St Nicholas and Godmanstone have so radically changed their approach to working the land? What does it mean to the communities – and the rest of us – whose lives depend on farmed landscapes?
In 2013, Chris Drury and Kay Syrad worked alongside these Dorset farmers. Exchange a hand-made book nearly 60cm tall and bound in cowhide, is the result of their two-year collaboration. A smaller, limited edition hardback version of Exchange was published, along with a paperback version available for £12.
Guy Martin focused his residency on an historic, now redundant small farm, Huish Farm, and created Forcey’s Tower. Named after the Forcey family who once farmed Bushes Bottom Farm, the sculpture marks the centenary of their leaving in 1914. It also marks the transition of farming practice in the surrounding farms to a more sustainable way of working and living in order to preserve and protect the native flora and fauna of this area.
The Milking Parlour
Milk, cheaper than bottled water. Surely that’s udderly ridiculous? Vanessa Reid explores food and farming systems, and their wider environmental impacts in an exhibition in Bristol’s Harbourside.
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