Food Forest is a work that champions biodiversity and demonstrates that materially art can be generative; can be a resource, rather than just an extractor or exploiter of resources. In other words art can be generative contiguous with ecological functioning. Thus this work attempts to blur the line between art and nature. Food Forest is a biological system that is in part self-maintaining. It utilises a combination of applied ecology (mimicking a forest system) and what Artist as Family call ‘social warming’ (art that makes relationships). It’s a poetic space; a garden that supplies uncapitalised food for a soup kitchen and the nearby community; a physical poem set on publicly accessible church ground; a home to marginalised urban dwellers, wildlife and bourgeois organisms. It is a space to inhabit, to garden, to find solace. Its politic makes a clear departure from typical expressions of nihilistic contemporary art. The work is informed by permaculture utopianism, which has in turn been informed by how traditional communities function as non-polluting custodians of land. The food produced by the work forms part of a local gift economy.
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