Find Ai Weiwei’s iron sculpture in Eden's Rainforest Biome, cast from a giant tree root sourced in Brazil.
Acts of Gathering brings together a number of artworks that celebrate and interrogate the nature of food culture in a rapidly changing world, inviting us to consider the ceremony and symbolism that shape our connections to food, to each other and to the earth.
Artists: Jonathan Baldock, Serge Attukwei Clottey, Jumana Manna, Maria Nepomuceno, Uriel Orlow and Nina Royle & Lucy Stein. Open until April 2024.
All* visitors to Eden are strongly encouraged to pre-book a time slot in advance of each visit, including Passholders and those who can visit for free.
*Eden Project Members, Patrons and their family guests no longer need to book a time slot, and are guaranteed admission before last entry.
On Sunday 28 January 2024, we will be delivering workshops for people of all ages, to create clay sculptures inspired by nature. These sessions will be facilitated by artist Anna Harris and the creations will become part of Maria Nepomuceno’s Você me Alimenta (You feed me), on show as part of Acts of Gathering.
The workshops last for one hour and will take place at 10.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm on both days, and must be pre-booked in advance due to limited availability. Valid entry to the Eden Project is required, and workshops cost 50p per person. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
The workshops will take place in the Core Building, in Classroom 3, on the floor below the Acts of Gathering exhibition.
‘There’s a saying round here and they say that our spirit gets hungry […] you need to be fed with the food that can only be found in these regions that your ancestors have been eating, and not just the food in your belly but we have to feed our minds and our hearts and we have to feed them with song and with the sound of paddles on the water and the sounds of drums beating and voices harmonising.
[…] If you want to know what your purpose is, you only have to ask yourself how you will feed the people.’ – Matika Wilbur. Photographer and All My Relations podcast host from the Swinomish and Tulalip peoples of coastal Washington.
We are connected to the earth through the food that nourishes and heals us every day. Food sustains our health, and we, in our growing and harvesting of these foods, shape the health of the land.
Different communities across the globe honour this relationship in the practices that govern growing, harvesting, preparing, eating and sharing. Acts of Gathering brings together a collection of diverse artworks to represent, celebrate and interrogate the nature of food culture in a rapidly changing world. It encourages us to consider how the emergence of customs and traditions in relation to food can enhance our connections to each other and to the land. It also calls into question the politics of these practices – why are some supported and others marginalised? In what ways are they affected by the globalisation and industrialisation of food and farming?
The artworks on show explore the materials, performances, songs and acts that embody community knowledge of the land. Corn dollies, traditional weaving work, repurposed plastic containers and painted murals give a physical presence to different communities’ interactions with food and how these relationships are shaped by global and local forces. Similarly, songs, proclamations and storytelling also voice the traditions that are shared between peoples.
Many pieces represent communal ownership of food and land and how practices of ‘commoning’ are enacted by different communities, often in a way that is simultaneously threatened and resilient. Cooperative growing, foraging, traditional harvesting and new forms of collective eating create community-defined ways of relating to food. Each piece explores distinct cultural identities, but all consider the ways in which connections between people, food and the land can be cultivated by shared beliefs and practices that are rooted to the earth.
Acts of Gathering considers the nature in which community shapes the ways we grow, gather, share and eat and how we can foster new and old ways of being that strengthen our connections to each other, food and the land.
Acts of Gathering is curated by Eden's Senior Arts Curator Misha Curson and Arts Curator Hannah Hooks.
Research and texts supported by Charlotte Fraser.