Free Time

Lucy + Jorge Orta: Food, food, food

There’s still time to see the beautiful new exhibition by Lucy + Jorge Orta on the theme of “food” at the City Gallery and Museum on Priestgate – and there’s a host of free events, too...

Running until Sunday 4 December, the work is inspired by an 18-month relationship between the artists, the City of Peterborough and arts organisation Metal, and a dazzling culmination of 20 years’ worth of work on the subject.

The Ortas’ food recycling projects, mass open-air meals, gleaned gastronomic diners and mobile soup kitchens have pioneered a renewed interest in the politics of food. Being exhibited for the first time is ‘Seed Bank’ – a vast collection of watercolours and glass sculptures of endangered seeds, pollen and tubers which draw attention to the immense diversity and fragility of the natural world, highlighting the dangers of high-yield monoculture farming.

Another new work on show is ‘Bread’, inspired by the Harvest Meal in Peterborough in 2015. Guests were invited to bake loaves of bread to share amongst diners and contribute to a symbolic ‘offering table’ installed in Cathedral Square. One hundred of these loaves were collected, and subsequently cast in aluminium, preserving the generosity of local people and the act of giving.

These beautiful cast loaves feature in the new sculpture at the gallery. To complement the exhibition, there is an extensive programme of public talks, debates, film screenings and workshops. On Thursday 3 and 10 November at 7pm in the gallery, Peterborough’s Philosophy Group, led by Michael Reid and John De-Val, will be discussing the relationships between food and our quality of life; and the economics of food poverty. On the Thursday 17 November at 7pm in the gallery, a panel of leading agricultural professionals, artists and activists will present their different perspectives on the impact of Brexit on land and farming issues and lead an audience debate.

With five months since this historic vote to leave the EU, the speakers will explore the repercussions for how land will be managed and used, land ownership, employment and financial sustainability. There will be a film screening of ‘The Hundred Foot Journey’ as part of film club Frame at Chauffeurs Cottage on St. Peter’s Road. Starting at 7.30pm on Friday 25 November, the comedy drama, starring Helen Mirren, is about The Kadam family who leave India for France where they open a restaurant directly opposite Madame Mallory’s Michelin starred eatery. Unfortunately, this puts the Kadams in direct competition with the acclaimed haute cuisine establishment and sparks start to fly!

Rounding off the programme is ‘There’s Something in the Water’ on Thursday 1 December, 6.30 – 9pm where you are invited to become the jury in a mock-court room. During the evening you will get to listen to local stories about water, and water management in the Fens, as well as share in a communal meal. This is an event designed for the whole family with music, poetry, storytelling, food and drink.

All the talks and events are free, but it is advisable to book in advance. To find out more information see or call on 01733 893077

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