Last night I attended the Brownfield Banquet, an event organised and excellently hosted by Anna Francis and Rebecca Davies as part of the Monthly Matics events with AirSpace Gallery. On a very wet evening, we were guided to a site where streets of houses had been knocked down a few years ago just off Lichfield Street in Hanley (Stoke-on-Trent’s city centre). We sat in a bell tent eating a meal, drinking strong alcohol which used flowers and plants found on the site, listening to and discussing the issues around sites which were now ‘derelict’, but far more interesting than ‘tidy’ sites. If you regularly look at this blog you will see that these brownfield sites and edgelands are central to my art practice (have look at my Objects Natural and you will see things I found and photographed).
We all came away with a wonderful ‘party bag’ which included a small bottle of very strong Brownfield Liquor; a beautifully produced riso printed poster of flora found on the site (sorry only got an A4 scanner so only half a poster!); a card of one of Anna’s Ikebana using found contents; a huge amount of things to contemplate and continue with. I loved the point which Anna brought up that we were sitting eating a meal where many generations of families had sat and shared food, but no-one had been done so for about 20 years. Thanks for a lovely evening!