Costume: “Fish-Spirit-Catcher”. The fish-spirit-catcher has the head of a fish and carries a fishing net to catch the fish spirits that wander the city. The clip board is to signify the need to tame our fish spirits and quantify them, bringing them into the world of humans to be killed and eaten. The body of the entity body is wrapped in hand printed silk-screened vegetable leaves and fish scale patterns and lite by hundreds of pink LED grow lights.

This website is a collection of works, began in 2004, what together explore the many facets of what is termed urban agriculture (UA), from quantitative mapping to creative and cultural responses such as costumes, hand-drawn maps, and group city walks. During this time I have been fascinated by differing yet interconnected question around food production in cities, broadly asking, what does an “Edible City” look like? How extensive will it be, or what cultural practices might emerge in a city of productive soil, edible plants, and small scale agriculture. A city where open spaces, offices corners and rooftops find room for greenhouses, vegetable gardens, and livestock? Where harvests travel less and are more visible, where food is fresh, not because it has been chilled for thousands of miles but because you just picked it.

The need for the Edible City becomes urgent as we become a globally urban species, and that these megacities can, and should, grow part of the food they consume, rather than rely wholly on external agriculture. This is likely to happen when countries enter into a period of crisis, but how can we embrace urban agriculture in permanence, as a necessary step towards more sustainable urbanism? 

Shieldfield-Wheatfield. 2018-2020. Wheat growing in Shieldfield, a neighbourhood of Newcastle during lockdown, 2020. The wheat was harvested in August 2020 and milled into flour for a communal meal.
Edible Map of Newcastle, 2015. The map and walks formed part of a joint show at Newbridge Gallery, https://thenewbridgeproject.com/events/urban-organisms/.
Edible Map and walks, 2015, Peterborough.
Mask and costume, 2020. The costume features a mask which tells the story of the Shiledfield-Wheatfield project, 2018-2020. The costume is a walking embodiment of the nexus of food and urbanity literally written on its body. We can set the spirit free to wander the streets of Newcastle as the companion of food-gardeners and their hope for urban fertility and harvest.
A series of three plates drawn from the Edible Map of Newcastle, 2015. The plate were used at a communal meal at Newbridge gallery.