Monday, March 25, 2013

Junk Food | About Face Installation at Gladstone Grow Op

First rendering of Junk Food: An Urban Foodscape

 In an email exchange last week, one of our project partners appropriately opened with the sentiment that she'd "usually say something about the awesome spring weather and the beginning of garden prep" but that she would refrain, sad face. On that cold, windy, grey day, we felt a little sad face-y too. Looking out the window, it was hard to imagine containers overflowing with ripe veggies any time soon.

We've got our happy faces on with this sunshine today, but we've actually been prepping to plant for weeks (well, for months really, but seedlings are in at the greenhouse!). We've got all sorts of exciting plans for this season to tell you about soon enough (one big exciting one in particular!) but let's start with the first: Gladstone Grow Op.

We're really, very excited to be working with the Gladstone on an installation piece for their inaugural four-day show, Grow Op: Exploring landscape and place. If you've ever been to the Gladstone's amazing, annual Come Up to My Room event, you'll have a rough idea of what to expect. Grow Op follows a similar format, inviting artists and designers to realize their visions within the walls of the historic hotel. The show "will facilitate a cross-disciplinary forum for landscape, garden design, art and place making within the vibrant setting of Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood".

The Gladstone's contribution to local art and their commitment to sustainability made fans of us long ago. Now that we've had a few planning sessions with the Grow Op crew, we're even more smitten.

Our installation, Junk Food is a collaboration between illustrator, artist and About Face art director, Lauren Pirie, multi-disciplinary artist and designer, Mahmood Popal, our own garden coordinator, Natalie Boustead, and SKETCH. It touches on themes of urban food production, food security, sustainable design and Toronto heritage and identity. The "urban foodscape"  is being built using salvaged materials, and home-made milk paint and will grow crops like lettuce and peas.

Watch our blog and the Gladstone Bag for more progress shots and join us from April 25 - 28 at the Grow Op!
Natalie and Mahmood disassembling salvaged materials at HUNTCLUB Studio

Translating the design digitally

Natalie whipping up some milk paint

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