Images and narrative from Unlikely Heroes/Feeding Body And Soul are currently on show in the form of an art trail I have set up in conjunction with organicARTS at West Town Farm in Ide (just west of Exeter) in Devon. It takes about half an hour to go round. No booking required – just turn up! Free admission. Details of how to get to West Town are on the farm website – click here.
The farm was one of the places visited in my travels. Just three miles from Exeter, it is a livestock farm where the land is managed organically, the animals are cared for with respect and compassion and every effort is made to conserve wildlife. The farm is owned by the Church of England and has been leased to the Bragg family for the last three generations. Current tenant, Andy, took over in 1982 and out of concern about animal welfare and farmland biodiversity switched to organic methods, completing conversion in 1992. The beef, lamb, pork and chicken are sold direct from the farm and at local farmers markets.
Based on the farm is Organic Arts, an educational charity that promotes the arts and rural issues through educational visits and walks, classes, workshops, community projects, exhibitions and performances.
organicARTS is based at West Town Farm in Ide. The farm is a working organic farm in a rural landscape on the edge of the Teignbridge boundaries and yet only 3 miles from Exeter. It has 160 acres all of which are accessible for visiting groups and individuals. In this sense it is a unique centre having an integrated approach involving the combination of a rural site involving the working farm with education and the arts. The charity works in partnership with West Town Farm on its range of educational projects for all ages, abilities and groups! They have been hosting school visits for over 10 years, beginning with just 6 visits a year but now offer 150 funded visits through the stewardship scheme.
The farm has incredible range of locations including an old railway cutting, newly planted orchard, stream, meadows and woodland. I will be constructing an art trail around the farm using pictures from both enterprises local in Devon and around England.
I’m really excited about the prospect. Placing images outside, vulnerable to the elements is something I have always wanted to do. It seems particularly appropriate for images of farmers, growers and their crops and land. If you are close or in Devon please do get the weekend in your diary! If you cant make it that weekend, the images will be on display the element render them to the soil!