UK artists in residence:
Anna is a photojournalist with a backgrund in installation sculpture at Edinburgh University. Although she began the residency with a specific interest in amaranth, this developed into a broader curiosity about agricultural practices in Mexico, splitting into two research strands. Anna produced an installation exploring the experimental preservation of the unique variety of corn in the Oaxaca region, in the face of the harmful impact of GM and monocrops. A second project was with women in traditional crop growing communities, who are dealing with the effects of immigration and depression, finding new ways to live but trying to hold on to their history (working with the MAMAZ group in Tanivet, Oaxaca).
Anna also photographed the residency and took footage of Stephen Moynihan's dance
"In the summer of 2013 I began making large cyanotypes of contact printed maize stalks. The artwork grew in size alongside the plants I worked with until they were unmanageable in my workspace and the end of the growing season closed the work. To further resolve the process I naturally turned to the birthplace of domesticated corn, Oaxaca, Mexico, and eventually to the site of an old textile and paper making factory, CaSa, at St Agustin, just north of the city."
This work was developed following the residency, and exhibited as part of Heartland at Art Jericho in Oxford.
"Threats affecting the traditional milpa agricultural system of small-scale farmers and their landraces of maize and associated species have highlighted the importance of the sophisticated relationship of the human hand with cultivation. The domestication of maize is at the heart of this important relationship between nature and culture with the care and nurture of plants demanding an essential sensitivity to terrain and climate."
Jessie now works for Jekka Herbs
Rose is a multidisciplinary artist working within fine art, design and performance.
Since finishing the First Food Residency in Oaxaca, Mexico, I have carried on developing my ideas that I focused on whilst there. I have also continued working for other choreographers and artists both in dance, live performance and film. The swiftest continuation from the residency was with Mexican dance artist, Paula Rechtman. I reconnected with her whilst in Mexico. We had trained together in London many years ago but she had returned home to Mexico to establish herself as choreographer there. Because of this reconnection, she joined a project with London based Brazilian choreographer Jean Abreu with whom I work. Regarding my own work, I have continued to explore the themes and ideas that I developed whilst on the residency in Oaxaca. These ideas focus mainly around; how life is rooted to the earth, our bodies receiving nutrients from the ground and how these nutrients affect the body and mind.
For me, this flat footed connection to the earth is necessary for our stability both physically and mentally. This relationship to the earth allows us to stay rooted, giving us somewhere to push off from, direction and a physical point of reference as we move. Without this we are destined to twist and contort through space. Just as this impacts the body it is replicated in our mental state. The nutritional cycle of food between the ground and us clearly impacts our physicality. I am extremely interested by the long term impact of food that has been genetically tampered with and how this impacts us. This difference may not be decipherable at first but with time the body and how it functions will change in relation to this altered food source.
In practical terms of movement, I’m working with these ideas physically to see how that dichotomy of change can manifest itself in the body. I question whether the food we consume which has been changed genetically on a cellular level impacts our own body and movement on a cellular level. My current work looks into these two imagined realities in the physical body; how the body is before genetically modified food and the change once we start consuming it.