The Soil Project Residency Exhibition 2021
Eileen Hutton

  • Arrow Oct 30 – Dec 3 2021
  • Arrow Butler Gallery Learning Centre
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The Soil Project is an ongoing project to invite contemporary artists and creative practitioners to create public projects.

Building Mycelial Communities

When I first undertook the Soil Project Residency, the country was still in a phase of 5K travel restrictions. In order to develop a participatory project that prioritized direct engagement with soil, albeit remotely, I devised a postal art project. Packages containing a glass petri dish, detailed instructions for how to gather, sense and identify local soils as well as a copy of the General Soil Map of Ireland were sent to over 100 people from around the island. From this collective mapping process, I have created a series of experiments in soil chromatography to represent each gathered soil sample. This alternative photography process creates a ‘soil portrait’ on light sensitive filter paper that is both formally beautiful and a useful way to assess the soil for organic matter, biological diversity, minerals and humus. The individual chromatograms will be installed as part of a large scale, material soil map.

The archive of the postal art component of this project will also be displayed alongside additional research phases of the residency that focused on fungi and earthworms as essential biota that contribute to the formation, maintenance and restoration of high quality, indispensable soils.

View Past Soil Project Residencies

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