I SEE FOOD EVERYWHERE
Recent years have seen a resurgence in foraging for food. Top chefs, including Gill Meller, Claus Meyer and René Redzepi, have promoted the practice of gathering plants and animals. Why, in an era when the most necessary things are just a few clicks away, do many seek the thrill of finding their own food?
There are clear benefits to wild harvesting in the modern world. Not only does it cut the forager’s own food costs, but there may be health advantages too. Controlled foraging is one of the most environmentally friendly means of supplying food.
This knowledge has been essential for human survival at all times. Before the advent of agriculture, the gathering of plants together with the hunt for animals was obvious. Later, it was related to the depletion of the land, economic crises, war or climate change. For many people around the world, foraging is culturally ingrained and it is an age-old tradition that lives on.
I'm a Belgian photographer spending some time at Rucka Artist Residency. Here in Latvia I challenged myself. I learned more about plants and methods of preparing foraged goods. Plants we forgot were consumable, or considered unwanted on our property. I'm not a herbalist, a nature activist or a cook, rather a person who comes from a country where the habit of foraging is almost lost. Not to forget, I do have a real passion for eating. Food is a great subject and art can be used as a metaphor to explore daily dietary habits. The mundanity of food is an easy concept from which to explore other matters related to food, such as the perspective of our own lives, our future, science, ethics and climate.
With this, I invite you to look for the signs scattered around the park and collect the stories just as I found my food over the past month.