Featuring 10 window displays, it has been created by local artists to accompany the Growing Together in Peterborough exhibition at Peterborough Museum, which runs until the end of September. Funded by Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants, the programme aims to raise discussions about our local food systems.
Popping up in shops and attractions across the city, large scale illustrations have been created in windows all the way from Westraven Community Café, to the Key Theatre, and Queensgate through to the Food Hall on Bridge Street.
“The windows trail is absolutely incredible and I’m so proud to have worked with such talented local artists,” says curator Lauren Kendrick, Founder of Flourish Peterborough and Chair of the Peterborough Food Partnership and Strategy. “It’s been a great way to spark conversations about what food means to us and discuss how we could create more sustainable and connected food systems in the future too.”
The 10 windows around Peterborough are based on different themes related to food. These include everything from connecting with the ground, community growing, seasonal food, climate, supporting local food suppliers, healthy food for healthy people and more.
One of the participating artists, Jeni Cairns, said about her completed window that it’s a “piece inspired by a dream of a future where we live with the earth not on it. Where we live a life in service of the planet and all the beings that call it home. We grow in our communities, real food that nourishes each other with an attitude of sharing and open heartedness. Mother Nature freely gives us everything we need to survive and thrive. Fresh water, food, breath and shelter. Let’s tune in together.”
Rose Croft, another artist involved with the windows trail, added: “I think this project is of huge value as, collectively, we are becoming very disconnected from the origins of many products we use and consume. Many of us have lost our connections to our land, which is especially sad since locally we are living in an area so richly steeped in agricultural history and tradition.”
She continues: “It’s not always easy to trace the origin of our food, but it is crucial because it allows us to make informed choices about what we eat. It empowers us to support sustainable and ethical farming practices, make healthier dietary decisions, and reduce our environmental impact.”
Local artist and craftsman James Tovey explains: “I think food and food security is such a potent, relevant topic at the moment. Being old enough to remember the high streets in the West Country during the 1970s, before the supermarkets and large retail stores took customers away from smaller, independent shops, I do feel we have lost out.
"You only have to go to a local farm shop or good independent butcher or fishmonger, such as you'll find in the Food Hall on Bridge Street, to find out what fresh meat, sausages or fish properly prepared should be like, and to realise the supermarkets are selling us short.”
To follow the full trail, see all 10 windows, and find out more about the participating artists, take a look at the Instagram account @flourishpeterborough.
The ‘Growing Together in Peterborough’ exhibition at Peterborough Museum, city centre arts trail, and accompanying events aim to encourage discussions around reducing waste and supporting local, seasonal and sustainable food production.
For further details, visit www.flourishpeterborough.co.uk, where you can also fill in a survey to have your say on food in Peterborough. This survey will be used to inform the Peterborough Food Strategy: an action plan for how to form a joined-up approach to adapting and supporting the food system across the greater Peterborough area in the coming years.