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Crossings

 

A walk and shared picnic lunch exploring connections between food, body and place.

Crossings was a lunch experience for 90 guests commissioned by the National Trust, designed and produced in collaboration with artist Natasha Rosling. The project formed a part of one-day symposium Place, Practice, Purpose, investigating place-based contemporary arts.

Guests were divided into three groups: Garden, Pond and Valley. After having been introduced to the project through a poetic 'menu card', each group was led on a walk into the chosen landscape, carrying with them a lunch made with site-specific ingredients such as foraged leaves and herbs, garden vegetables and duck eggs from a local farmer. The picnic was all prepared by us, and packed in bespoke bundles made by hand with natural materials such as cotton, beeswax and wood. 

Once guests had immersed themselves in the landscape and found a place to sit down, they worked together to open up the bundles, explore and enjoy the contents (see menu below). By letting people carry and serve the picnic themselves, our intention was to inspire a sense of care for the food as well as each other, and to reflect on the connections between our bodies, what we eat and the surrounding landscape.

Crossings.

Matter interwoven, mingled,
a chaos of places, bodies,
hands, materials, sun and
a hidden moon.

Clouds passing over
the sky, dreams of seeds
sleeping at night beneath
the cover of the ground.

Above, a white duck
transforming into a goat,
shedding its long, ancient
horn into your hands.

Forming a new beginning. 

We invite you for lunch. Be prepared to assist the food on its journey with you, carrying equipment will be provided.


MENU

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Departure
Sesame tofu with herbal arrangement and preserved lemon

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Field
British grown spelt, quinoa and lentils with roasted camelina and sunflower seeds

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Verdure
Peas, beans and crunchy greens mingling with elderflower vinaigrette, herbs and leaves inspired by the pond/valley/garden

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Cornucopia
Cornucopia horn filled with seasonal flowers
Clothbound cheese from Devon goats [garden and valley]
Eggs from Devon ducks [pond] 
Radishes and fermented turnips

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Hearth
Focaccia topped with spring onions, chives and herbs


Place, Practice, Purpose was made possible by the support of Arts Council England and led by stewardship organisations National Trust, Forestry Commission England, Canal & River Trust and Churches Conservation Trust, in partnership with Exeter University.

Thanks to local food producers including Emma’s Bread, Hilltown Organics, Maddock’s Farm Organics, Wellbeck Farm, Quicke’s Cheese and Quince Honey Farm.

Image credits: Benjamin J Borley

1.

Look at your feet and
appreciate that they will
be carrying you. 

Imagine your natural pace
of walking, set against
internal rhythms. 

An orchestra of pulsing,
breathing, beating,
squeezing, expanding. 

2.

Pay attention to the
porosity of your skin.
Are you sweaty,
do your hands taste salty?

Your mouth is a portal.
Open it. Let the air pass
through and taste it.

Sense the texture of your
tongue. Establish the
boundary where the inside
meets the outside of your lips.

3.

Atmosphere. The texture of
the air. It moves through
you and is shared with the
other bodies around you.

Picture yourself pressing
your tongue against the
ground. Sense its character.

Your tongue is on search
for other bodies, for
its own way.

4.

Transporting edible matter.
Consider the stories hidden
within its folds? How does
it feel to be carried?

Unknown worlds from the
perspective of the nonhuman.

Silent. Another voice,
another expression.
Concealed from the eyes,
sensed through the instinct.

5.

Swallowing. It travels
through you, pulled by
gravity and muscular
spasms, down the throat. 

A sensation of falling.
Do you recognise it
from your dreams?

A journey where
the destination is
unknown, in circles,
always open ended.