Sarah Strachan

 

Just a Spoonful

This floor-based installation consists of large scale line drawings, gilded ceramics, mud, a bucket of homemade compost and field recordings of soil. The drawings, created through the repetitious addition of a continuous ink line, layer by layer evoke the slow process of soil accumulation. The ghostly sugar beet casts allude to the imprint left on the land by industrial agriculture - managed arable land is quieter and exhibits fewer different noises than organically managed land.

Just a spoonful explores the relative value we attribute to materials. It is informed by interdisciplinary conversations and fieldwork, motivated by sadness for soil impacted by harvesting sugar beet in East Anglia.

Despite all our achievements, we owe our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains. Over the past 40 years Earth has lost a third of arable land and soil is currently being destroyed 10-times faster than it’s being created.

The global pandemic has re-focused our attention on the importance of food security, but without soil we wouldn’t have food to eat or fresh water to drink.

Just one teaspoon of soil contains more living organisms than there are people on the planet but in the UK, a spoonful of sugar depletes our soils and the NHS budget in the most delightful way (for the Weston family and their foundation). By viewing soil through the lens of artistic practice I hope to raise awareness of the value of soil, to enrich our ways of thinking and our relationship to it.

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MA Fine Art