SWG3 and Aproxima Arts launch collective potato growing arts project
- Deborah Chu
- 7 May 2020
'An Empty Gunny Bag Cannot Stand / Goni vid pa kapav dibout' sees a Glasgow neighbourhood grow potatoes under isolation in preparation for a community-wide party
Though it'll be a while yet until we can enjoy a meal with the people we love most, a pair of artists have already begun sowing the seeds for that glorious day. Angus Farquhar and Rudy Kanhye have launched a collective food growing art project, titled 'An Empty Gunny Bag Cannot Stand / Goni vid pa kapav dibout', which sees 120 colourful hessian bags of growing potatoes distributed throughout the Kelvingrove neighbourhood where Farquhar lives, as well as a few in the Kelvinhaugh area where SWG3 is located.
Each household will take charge of taking care of these potatoes on their front doorsteps for four months; after which, once the lockdown restrictions are lifted, the bags will be taken to SWG3, where they will be harvested, cooked and shared at a big free outdoor harvest party for the whole community.
Though the project was originally meant to take place along the green spaces at the SWG3 complex, Farquhar and Kanhye were able to quickly adapt to the new restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing added resonance to the project's focus on local sourcing and community bonds. Designed by Alec Farmer of SWG3 studio residents Trakke, the colours of the bags – sewn in vibrant greens, reds and yellows – references Kanhye's Mauritian roots and the project's bilingual title.
The bags were then sewn by a team of costume-makers and seamstresses living in the Kelvingrove area. Jackie McMaster of the City of Glasgow College will be providing each household with horticultural advice throughout the process, helping ensure that the Maris Piper spuds thrive, before they're transformed into delicious chips by the Gerrard Winstanley Chip Shop when the time comes.
Angus Farquhar says of the project, 'We originally intended to transform the derelict green space that fringes the SWG3 complex, which is in the first stages of becoming a public garden, with a sea of colour. This is where all the growing would have taken place. But of course, something got in the way.
'With the current restrictions on gathering, we wanted to respond positively and think how we could still go about collaborating, to make things, share things, grow things; to use our isolation to work together.
'Community was always at the heart of this public art initiative, but now even more so through the support of my neighbourhood. When all this is over we look forward to opening our chip shop at SWG3 and feeding Glasgow for free for a day!'
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