Between Autumn 2015 and Autumn 2016, a collective made up of 42 members of the public, the food industry, farming community, artists and researchers become active stakeholders in a field of wheat in Branston Booths, Lincolnshire, England.
Throughout its cycle from drilling the wheat in October 2015 to harvest in August/September 2016, the community of participants took part in an exchange of dialogue with the farmer, each other and the artists through online platforms and events on the farm.
A Field of Wheat was shared with more people via this website, public events on the farm, talks & media broadcast.
This project followed two years research into the culture and economics of wheat growing on a local and global scale, including building relationships with farmers in Lincolnshire and with representatives of the farming industry, local historians and academics.
Wheat is consumed by around 4.5 billion people every day and is a highly significant global food commodity both in volume of trade and land used for its cultivation. Wheat is intimately tied to our cultural history as one of the first crops to be cultivated on a large scale and Lincolnshire is a significant wheat growing county in the UK.
A Field of Wheat aimed to open up a new space for informed discussion, reflection and sharing of different ways of thinking about wheat farming, food systems and collective ownership within the context of resources depletion, climate change, global markets and technological innovation.
This project was funded by Arts Council of England in partnership with University of Lincoln, Dance 4, The Collection and ArtsNK. We are grateful for additional support from the Community Land Advisory Trust and Atomic Smash.
Peter is a conventional farmer who has a farm of 100 acres on Branston Booths in Lincolnshire growing oil seed rape, barley and wheat. He has been growing wheat for 35 years and is passionate about communicating his ideas for a viable sustainable future for British farming.
Anne-Marie creates events, performances and award winning projects that draw people closer to the land. She has been commissioned by and worked with National Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage, National Parks Authority, and Kaleider and has exhibited at Bluecoat (Liverpool), Newlyn Gallery (Penzance) and Castlefield Gallery (Manchester). She has recently been artist in residence with Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW) as part of the Soil Culture programme and in the department of Earth System Science with Prof. Tim Lenton at the University of Exeter.
Ruth’s work explores the systems, tools and instruments we use and live by, thinking about how they shape our lives. She has shown work at ICA, Arnolfini, Dundee Contemporary Art, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki). She has been commissioned by BBC Radio 3 Cut & Splice Festival, National Media Museum (Bradford) and Cornerhouse (Manchester). She was awarded an Arts Council Fellowship in Colima, Mexico; has been artist in residence at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and is currently in residence with the Pennine Water Group, Faculty of Engineering at The University of Sheffield.
The different areas of the website:
Provided details on and images from project events and related information (ie research or articles that were inspired by the project). This page will continue to be updated with exhibitions, talks & related activity.
Wider thoughts & reflections from the artists; taking the form of images, writing, drawings, performances & experiments.
Arable farmer Peter Lundgren shared the day-to-day stories of farming A Field of Wheat from seed to harvest and life on the farm in Branston Booth. Peter responded to questions from the collective about the field.
A live data-feed and historical data showing the daily weather conditions on the farm and the global wheat price co-created with artist Michael Day.
This is where Farming Decisions and Collective Enquiries between the collective took place. Farming Decisions involve the Collective making key decisions about how to farm the field. Collective Enquiries involved the Collective discussing a theme related to the wider context of wheat farming. These focused on historical, cultural, ecological or economic aspects. There are guidelines for the Collective Enquiries inspired by Quaker dialogue methods of sharing knowledge.
Please bear in mind there are only two of us working part-time on the project so it may take us a little while to reply. Thank you.