Seeds of Straw: Arts and Agriculture Collaborative Project

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Last week, Creative Carbon Scotlan Project Officer Gemma Lawrence joined artist organisation and fellow GALA member Pollinaria in the Abruzzo region of Italy to collaborate on the Seeds of Straw project. This collaboration took place 24th-31st January 2015, with aims of investigating local community relationships specific to agriculture.

Seeds of Straw is a collaboration between Creative Carbon Scotland and Pollinaria within the context of GALA – Green Art Lab Alliance. It originates from the themes explored by artists Futurefarmers’ Consortium Instabile, an experimental architecture, radio, research and public programme establishing a consortium of seed custodians and agents of rural regeneration.

As a part of Consortium Instabile, Seeds of Straw continues to explore these issues through the lens of sustainable agriculture focusing on a byproduct of cereals – straw – often forgotten or undervalued as a resource. The project is made up of a series of encounters and interviews with farmers, makers, designers, artists and architects in the region of Abruzzo, Italy.

The research focuses on both producers and users of straw and how these relationships bring together unexpected ecologies, for example between farmers and artists. It is concerned with how these connections might lead to greater resilience of practice, livelihoods and therefore the sustainability and regeneration of the region.

Seeds of Straw aims to increase awareness of these different practices within the specific territory of Abruzzo. At the end of a week-long field study, a final gathering at Pollinaria will be organised, where people visited during the tour will be invited to meet each other, connect and share their ideas on the themes crucial to the initiative.

As well as focusing on the local context, the research will contribute to a broader conversation within the GALA project around arts and sustainability. The information gathered will be broadcasted internationally and distributed on the Consortium Instabile radio along with other contributors.

This study uses straw as a starting point for looking at how relationships and communities of practice can emerge and what is needed to sustain them. It is hoped that this learning can be used and applied in other contexts.

Seeds of Straw is part of a series of coordinated collaborations between Pollinaria and other members of the GALA network in relation to the themes researched by Consortium Instabile.

Consortium Instabile is a project realised in the framework of the Green Art Lab Alliance – GALA and with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.



Gemma Lawrence, Beth Ramsay, Daniela d’Arielli, Gaetano Carboni




The post Seeds of Straw: Arts and Agriculture Collaborative Project appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

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