Whole Milk, 2018
144 glass milk bottles, air, water, soil, grass, wildflowers, manure, hay, fur, feathers, insects, feed pellets, iodine, milk, stage blood, milking machine parts, gloves, twine, engine oil, cables, money
Exploring dairy farming as a system, Whole Milk investigates deep connections between humans, domesticated livestock and the land. It aims to provoke discussion about the future of the industry and encourages us to reflect upon on the nature and impact of our own role as consumers.
Created in collaboration with Oxfordshire-based North Aston Dairy – a small-scale producer pioneering new modes of sustainable farming – Whole Milk breaks down the dairy system into its individual components, encouraging consideration of each of these connected elements. The land and the wider environment are represented by soil, water and air. Wildflowers, grass, feathers and insects are present, as is the manure which, either directly or indirectly, provides them with nourishment. The farmers are seen as feed supplements, veterinary tools and milking machine parts, and engine oil, cables, and money show the connection to the consumer. Stage blood represents the cattle as a visceral embodiment of their purpose: to live and to die to feed us.
The environmental and societal impact of producing a bottle of milk can vary dramatically depending on the method of production and the interrelation of these elements. In its exploration of the system, Whole Milk encourages us to become active participants within it, improving our understanding and changing our eating habits and attitudes to allow sustainable farming initiatives to grow and have an impact
Fish Island Tree, 2014
Scaffolding, concrete, wood, nylon, tuna, sardines, peanuts
Intended to be absurd and humorous, Fish Island Tree was a site specific commission for Hackney WickeED Festival which aims to explore and subtly probe the conflict between the industrial past and the consumerist present.
The installation, located at Fish Island in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, draws on the area’s industrial past for its physicality, with its raw construction of concrete and steel, and a bounty of products available from its branches. The dangling tins and packets however are a far cry from the traditional industries of fish smoking and peanut roasting – the ‘local fruits’ are instead found branded and overpackaged, in the style of convenience we have come to expect in this age of mass-consumerism and supermarket dominance. During the 3 day event from 1st-3rd August 2014, festival-goers were encouraged to help themselves to the fruits of the tree. Stocks were replenished to meet the demand of the feeding frenzy but for the remainder of the following year the tree lay bare as a cautionary metaphor reflecting upon the dangers of under-valuing and over-exploiting local resources.