26 January 2021 - 21 March 2021
BOTANICAL MIGRATIONS is a series of billboard posters designed by artist Elizabeth Kwant. Working in partnership with Maxwell Community Garden and Ninewells Community Garden, participants were invited to submit recipes using locally-grown produce. The recipes inspired a series of bespoke repeat-pattern posters combining delicate botanical drawings with traditional tile patterns.
The project naturally bears testimony to the diversity of Dundee - embedding the migration of plants and people into the fabric of the prints with recipes coming from places as far apart as France, Spain, Ukraine, Poland, Argentina, USA, Pakistan, SE Asia, and Scotland. Individual gardeners record how they came to call Dundee home in corresponding blog entries (which can be accessed, together with the recipes, by QR codes embedded within the posters).
Ingredients locally-grown and foraged include fenugreek, coriander, tomatillo, pumpkin, courgette, garlic, tomato, sweetcorn, beetroot, rhubarb, mushrooms, elderflower, sloe berries, green beans, red pepper, and dandelion.
“This project touches upon so many important and timely issues: food security, environmental sustainability, wellbeing, migration, cultural diversity, and inclusivity to name a few. From 2018-2020 I spent time researching at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. Since then I’ve been interested in the botanical legacies of colonialism and empire. Growing your own food can become an act of resistance - cultivating the land, maintaining one's own culture in the face of hostile environments and repressive immigration policies. Gardening, as many of the participants testify, can also be deeply therapeutic. There’s a wonderful feeling of community at Maxwell Community Garden and Ninewells Community Garden. People just love being there. They’re not only producing food to eat. They also want to give back to the community. There’s diversity, inclusivity, mutual encouragement, a sense of wellbeing, and a sustainable way of living being explored. I hope this body of work highlights the beauty of Dundee.”
Elizabeth Kwant is a Manchester-based artist and filmmaker. She graduated with an MFA from Edinburgh College of Art. Her work is characterised by a socially engaged approach, often working in collaboration with local community groups and charities to explore contemporary socio-political issues.
BOTANICAL MIGRATIONS was produced in partnership with Maxwell Community Garden and Ninewells Community Garden. It was commissioned and curated by Sharing Not Hoarding. With special thanks to Manuela de los Rios, Helena Simmons, Kate Treharne, and all the participants: Farzana, Urszula, Alexander & Caroline, Mary, Kate, Christina, Jalal, Nadège, Gisela, Gibby, J. Neff, Geeta and Tess. Thank you for sharing your recipes and your stories.
During lockdown we’re planning to share recipes and cook together online.
Keep up to date via Facebook @TheMaxwellCentre @ninewellsgarden
Please share images to: @elizabethkwantstudio
For more information see, Maxwell Community Garden and Ninewells Community Garden websites.