Fruit Routes is a work conceived, coordinated and actioned by artist Anne-Marie Culhane for Loughborough University working with Jo Hasbury, Sustainability Manager at LU. I’m pleased to be once again collaborating with Anne-Marie throughout Fruit Routes. I believe it is an important work that poses essential questions and pointers towards some possible answers. This post is from the official Fruit Routes Blog and clicking anywhere on the text will take you there! You can also join us for the Fruit Routes Celebrate and Plant Event in February – Paul Conneally January 2012
We spent our first days on site harvesting existing fruit trees and foraging across campus, breaking in the apple press, cleaning out the shed with the help of LOS and getting ready for Fruit Routes launch…
At Freshers Fair we set up a stall using the beautifully crafted Fruit Routes/Eat Your Campus bike trailer and the Jeux des Pommes. We were wonderful sandwiched between the boy scouts and the boy racers underneath two loaded apple trees! Freshers were introduced to the project and took part in games and activities relating to …you guessed it..local fruit.
An interactive installation was created in The Shed. The Shed was inhabited each day by Anne-Marie Culhane and project assistant Miriam Keye. People were invited to take a seat and taste, share, eat and drink fruit and plants harvested on the campus as well as contribute their ideas to the project and share knowledge on a map of the campus fruit trees. A big hit were the fruit leathers and the elderflower, rosehip, gingko, nettle and limeflower teas.
A daily walk and talk along the first Fruit Route took place on all three days attended by a rich mix of local people of all ages, university staff and students. We identified and discussed some of the wild and edible plants growing along the first fruit route and visualized where the new planting of a wide variety of fruit, nuts and berries would be. The talk was punctuated with thoughts and open questions about the artistic, political and ecological context for the route.
Each day, apples and pears harvested on the campus were distributed to unusual locations all over campus and beyond by the Fruit Routes projects bike trailer and project team for people to eat, share, offer to others or text us about… see blog post incoming pommes
On Monday we hosted an event and discussion which focused on the relationship between artist and forager and artist as forager. This was co-hosted by Gillian Whiteley (Loughborough School of the Arts) Anne-Marie Culhane, Bob Levene (artist from Sheffield) and Paul Conneally (artist from Lougborough). We offered an open foraging task, asking participants to ‘walk without purpose’ out across the campus . The objects and thoughts they brought back with them were then used to mediate an artist led discussion. Our discussion roved across many fields including intentionality, attention, solitude, sharing, gifting, cultural foraging and personal histories.”
On Tuesday Paul Paine from Ecoworks in Nottingham gave an inspiring talk about cider and fruit wine making . We then got to taste his delicious quince wine and cider as well as sampling some locally produced homebrewed cider donated by small scale producers in Quorn. We also gave a small talk to people who were interested in making fruit seasonal syrups and cordials including elderberry, rosehip, sloe and blackberry.
Wednesday evening the launch event was rounded up by Flora + Fauna Feast. Each person was invited to come along representing another member of the biotic community who would be part of the Fruit Routes. The food and drink was locally sourced and foraged. The event was attended by a woodlouse, a bumble bee, mycorrhizal fungi, two ladybirds, a herring !, a lion ?, a fly, a pipistrelle bat and the promise of spring. The evening was a rich weave of shared stories, songs, dance, sounds and objects representing and celebrating some of the many other living creatures who will inhabit the Fruit Routes with us.
The Fruit Routes project is devised and co-ordinated by Anne-Marie Culhane working with Jo Hasbury, Sustainability Manager at LU. The Fruit Routes launch project team was AMC, Miriam Keye and Jo Salter.
Many thanks to Landscaping Our Society, Gillian Whiteley, Bob Levene, Paul Conneally, Dale M Shields, Laura Wild, Environmental Champions, Paul Paine, Marian and John Culhane, Ruth McQueen and the support of the Sustainability Team, Landscape team and Catering Team at LU.