Jonny Briggs : Soil Culture
Soil Culture was a major three year long arts and environment project coordinated by CCANW (Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World), that aimed to use the arts to inspire a deeper public understanding of the importance of soil, a resource on which the whole of civilization depends, but one which is often taken for granted.
The project took place from 2013 to 2016, including in 2015 the UN International Year of Soils and gave artists access to residencies across the South West. These took place at art and environment organizations that included the Universities of Exeter, Falmouth and Plymouth; the Environment and Sustainability Institute, Penryn; Hauser and Wirth, Bruton; The Eden Project; Schumacher College, Dartington and White Moose. From May 2015 to September 2016, an exhibition of the work generated from the residencies toured to the host locations and a number of other selected galleries. The project was supported by Arts Council England.
White Moose was one of the residency locations and the exhibition toured here from April to June 2016. London based artist Jonny Briggs was awarded the White Moose residency which took place in Barnstaple from Monday 22 September to Friday 3 October 2014. Jonny had previously exhibited at White Moose as part of the group exhibition Masquerade in 2013.
The Barnstaple residency involved Jonny working alongside local communities including members of the Litchdon Street allotments and tutors and students from Petroc college to explore how soil, ‘The Skin of the Earth’ is a transition between life and death and acts as a montage of decomposition and the foundation from which new life emerges. Using photography and mixed media, Jonny’s practice is in essence a search for lost parts of childhood, his work offering an often uncomfortable commentary on close human relationships and the environment.
Watch Jonny talking about his residency at White Moose: