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Song of a Sourdough - February 2023

This began as an experiment, but came to represent resilience and regeneration, in both a personal and wider context. I had been baking my own sourdough bread for several years when I decided to work with bread in the art studio. It would serve two purposes, a food that could be shared in studio lunches and anything not fit for consumption would be a building material. 

The experimentation had barely begun when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and I, along with everyone else, no longer had access to the studio. I recovered the sourdough starter and scraps of bread before the final lock-out and the sourdough starter became the mother of many others as I shared bread making with friends and neighbours over the difficult months to come. 

Eventually the scraps of bread from the studio were ground down and made into a dough from which I rebuilt a sculpture that had once hung in my studio.

My film, Song of a Sourdough, taking its name from Robert Service's poetry collection Songs of a Sourdough, depicts my processes over this period, alongside a narrative that is a reflective journey of gold prospecting, coal mining, de-industrialisation, resilience and regeneration. While at times deadly serious, the narrative also exposes my wry humour and a sense of the ridiculous.


Robert Service's poems are quoted by courtesy of Anne Longépé (estate of Robert Service).

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