Terra Infirma Exhibition
Dunbar, Scotland, June 2022
This exhibition was created by the artist and local people after a year long project titled Is Soil Alive? supported by North Light Arts. It featured artworks in response to the Pilgrimage for COP26, research time at ASCUS Edinburgh and the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, and numerous conversations with local farmers, growers and allotment holders in East Lothian.This project also explored the subject through workshops, events, walks, talks, research opportunities and foraging events.
The substance of soil, described by Granton community garden activist Tom Kirby as “..the overlap between the heavens and the earth’ is one of the most over looked and yet important substances on Earth. Not only does it provide humans with most of the food we eat, it also supports most living species. However, current industrial farming practices, bound by the need for high yields and fast turnarounds have sadly depleted between 30-70% of our arable soils globally, along with peat extraction and urban development.
How do we start to repair our soils and create a more sustainable future for coming generations? What cultural offerings and new ways of being with soil are there and how will these inform the conversations surrounding food production? What kind of life exists within soils and how are we related to it in our daily lives?
A separate page is dedicated to the Keepers of the Soil, which is a community created garment to be worn when caring for soil in a sensitive and sustainable way. This project continues at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh in Autumn 2022.
The exhibition continues in the Rainbow Garden,at the Ridge in Dunbar where some of the Keepers of the Soils portraits are now displayed permanently.