'Freed Market: How do we feed ourselves?' was a durational project curated by Rachel Grant in partnership with Seventeen Creative hub in Aberdeen and Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Aberdeenshire.
The project aimed to engage artists and audiences in collaborative making, dialogue and market exchanges using the site of Seventeen and the neighbouring food and craft market, which takes place on a monthly basis on Belmont Street, Aberdeen. The Belmont market highlights local and regional produce across Scotland in the city of Aberdeen.
Markets are a natural framework in which comparisons between food and art as commodities can be made; the producers, as artists, the buyers as audience. Markets not only exist in a value in economic transactions but can act as a place for citizens to meet and build relationships with one another. ‘Freed Market’ is a term to describe an idealized economic structure in which markets themselves are ‘a space not only for profit – driven commerce, but also spaces for social experimentation and grassroots activism…under this ideology market processes can – and ought to – include conscious, coordinated efforts to raise consciousness, change economic behavior and address issues of economic equality and social justice. ‘’*
Using these temporary locations artists generated public interventions and events over a period of four months, creating situations where currency became an exchange in knowledge, skills and dialogue and asking the question of citizens: How they feed themselves? Culturally, socially and through food.
The project ran over six months through the 'Picnic Series' a regular discussion group facilitated by Curator Rachel Grant and local hosts. It commissioned four participatory events from Artists Norma D Hunter and Elena Mary Harris and the project culminated in a final exhibition and event 'All Hands in the pot' in November 2015.
*Editors: Gary Chartier & Charles W. Johnson. Selected essays ‘Markets not capitalism: Individualist anarchism against bosses, inequality, corporate power, and structural poverty’. P.15
Norma D Hunter
Norma D Hunter is an artist living and working in the North East of Scotland.
Elena Mary Harris
Elena Mary Harris is a Glasgow-based community artist and facilitator.
Photo Credit: Manuel Brauer