CHRIS FREMANTLE

What art have I seen? We are Compost

Posted in Exhibitions, Producing by chrisfremantle on August 5, 2022

We are Compost at the Centre for Contemporary Art Glasgow, part of the programme put together for the World Congress of Soil Science.

The exhibition features the first UK showing of Asad Raza’s work Absorption, in which cultivators create and nurture 60 tonnes of artificial soil created from recycled and other waste materials. This neosoil is then offered freely to visitors to use for their own domestic and community projects. Gaia Glossary, a research installation curated by Alexandra Toland and Lea Wittich brings together literature, resources, tools and objects encouraging a composting of knowledge into the soil for the growth of new ideas. Finally, Eating the Ancestors, is an interactive installation by artist Désirée Coral following her Colonial Seeds research with the Glasgow Seed Library, focusing on what we inherited from generations past to further understand what can be generated from what already exists and what we can do for the collective WE.

Over the week being an interpreter for Newton Harrison’s On the Deep Wealth of this Nation, Scotland, also had a chance to check out documentation of Soil and Soul, a project by Propagate across seven communities in Glasgow. This really sets a standard for engagement by a major international environment conference – very different from the usual ‘fly in fly out’. The team from Propagate working with the British Society of Soil Scientists engaged and connected with communities across Glasgow on the importance of soil, making compost, seed bombing, etc.

Newton Harrison’s On the Deep Wealth was really well received by the Congress attendees. The responded to the maps and the text often reading the whole work. Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, interviewed Newton in advance of the Congress and that recording plus more information on the work is available on The Barn’s website.

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