Antonia manages the growth of the project, working closely with partners and artists in residence.
Between 2008 and 2012, Antonia instigated and curated Infinitas Gracias, an exhibition looking at the role of faith in the healing process, with a focus on votive traditions in Mexico. It received 5* reviews and ran for 5 months at the Wellcome Collection Gallery in London, attracting over 90,000 viewers.
Objects selected for exhibition as a result of research in Northern Mexico at this time reflected the importance of Maize at the heart of Mexican culture, as the main staple food, providing the flour for Tortillas and celebrated in religious thanksgiving ceremonies as its most important harvest crop.
In the summer of 2013 Antonia began making large cyanotypes of contact printed maize stalks. This development was part of the initial stage of the First Food Residency and was developed during the first stage in Oaxaca. The work was exhibited again in 2015 to launch the First Food project within the Mex/UK Dual Year.
LEAD ARTIST / PHOTOGRAPHER
Anna manages PR and online content as well as documenting the residency. She also supports Antonia to creatively develop the project
Before the First Food Residency Anna was working full time as a photographer. July 2013 she completed a media residency through the Mexican foreign ministry, photograhing the production of mezcal in Oaxaca state. Later that year she exhibited this work at Wahaca and LSE in London and Taller Espacio Alternativo in Oaxaca.
While working in Mexico, Anna made contact with the charity Puente who are re-introducing the plant amaranth to rural communities in Oaxaca. She began researching the history and cultural significance of this crop in Mexico, and used this point of interest as a starting point for artistic contribution to the first stage of the residency.
Anna has photographed each stage of the project and continues to move between a journalistic and artistic interpretation of the subject matter.
Greer began researching the properties and creative history of amaranth while in Mexico, learning from the Oaxaca based charity Puente a la Salud Comunitaria. Puente contributed seed to the amaranth bed that FFR founder Antonia Bruce has been growing at the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading (MERL), and in 2015 at Great Dixter House and Gardens in Kent.
Workshops using cactus and edible insects as well as natural dyes have also formed a part of the outreach programme. See more details of her workshops at www.greerpester.com
Public engagement includes workshops in Mexico City, Oaxaca, Glasgow and at FFR exhibitions spaces in London and Reading.