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The Art of Food Festival

Inspired by some of our local festivals here in France, this would be a festival celebrating local food and art with edible sculptures!

Photo of Helen Moss

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Here in the south of France we have many festivals celebrating local produce: the grapes / wine, the apples, the figs, the mushrooms, to name a few. We also have art festivals. So how about combining the two, a bit like a village near to me does and make edible sculptures? This is an apple festival and the sculptures are utterly amazing as you can see from the photo. 

But it needn't be limited to apples. Local artists could be commissioned to design sculptures made from other local foods (which are not too perishable), with the aim of creating an attraction and catch people's attention. The festival could combine many great ideas already proposed in this challenge: food fairs, farm tours, local restaurants involvement, projects for schools, etc. Arjan Tupan's concept highlighted the Queensland Harvest Festival which might be the perfect time to hold the festival. 

As part of the festival there could be big community meals, which is another tradition here in France. Villages come together to eat, everyone bringing their own cutlery (and sometimes chairs), preparing and eating local produce together, having a great time and getting to know each other. 

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Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

I love the idea of combining art and food- and kids could have their own sculpture exhibit too!

Photo of Meena Kadri

Great idea and ideating discussion...

Photo of Shaona

Really, really exciting Helen!

I could see the festival being held in the city or on the farm lands.

Maybe there is a game where teams sign up and are challenged to replicate a famous sculpture, animal, building and/or tourist attraction of Queensland out of produce.

Teams can hold fundraisers (for example: each fruit/veggie of the sculpture= $1) if groups participating are pre-determined (before the festival) by signing up. The money raised can go towards the development of the farm the team is supporting.

After the sculptures are built, the produce can be donated to local schools, providing healthy lunches. Or to restaurant sponsors that cook meals sold/given at the festival.

So many fun, interactive possibilities. = )

Photo of Sarah Fathallah

This is a great build Shaona! I really like the fundraising option.

Photo of Helen Moss

Yes, thank you Shaona, those are really great ideas. As Sarah said, fund-raising is brilliant, not only does it motivate people to get involved, it actually does some good too! And the team element would get more people involved, not just "foodies". It could maybe link with Steve Richmond's 'Adopt a Farmer' concept with schools involved too.

Photo of Shaona

Thanks Sarah and Helen. There are so many great points you've compiled to build from. = )

If enthusiasm in my post doesn't say it already, I would LOVE to see an event like this come to life!

Photo of Laurent Marbacher

I have been lucky enough to take part in such an event : The Apocalypse Tapestry in Angers (largest medieval tapestry in the world) made with food, and then eaten... A video recalls the event : http://www.alicia-rios.com/en/food/edible-representations/iconophagia_gall/video/video-wilfried-thierry.html

Photo of Helen Moss

WOW, that is amazing! I love it and it must have been such a great experience. Thanks for sharing that.

Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

Excellent idea Helen!

To enhance that connection between the food consumption and the producers, what if there was a voting aspect? Ballots with diagrams of the sculptures and quick notes of the source are given to those who purchased local produce/food that day from the participating producers. The attendees could then vote for their favorite one.

Photo of Krassimira Iordanova

Helen, fab concept! It reminds me of the Flower festival on Brussels' Main Square. Every two years, a stunning carpet of begonias, Belgium's most favorite flower, is created using different themes every year- a true festival of the senses....http://visualrian.com/images/item/133075

Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

A wonderful idea, Helen.
It reminds me of a festival we have here in Toronto called "Taste of the Danforth" (http://www.tasteofthedanforth.com/tasteofthedanforth_about.php)
- which focuses on one part of the city, celebrating Greek culture, food, wine, music, and more. As such a multi-cultural city, there are many ways to recognize the wonderful hub we have become of all cultures and nationalities from around the world.

Could this also involve a social media component?
Building on Shaona's idea below - perhaps the idea of voting online could be explored, and extended to those unable to attend the festival i-person, but still want to donate and/or have an influence in which farm(s) win...

Lots of possibilities!

Photo of Helen Moss

Definitely the social media aspect would be interesting Stacy. Get the whole of Australia involved (and indeed beyond). A good way to educate about food production and also inspire other communities and countries to follow on! Thanks for the idea.

Photo of Jennifer Tam

Fun! Are there edible sculpture contests? (kind of like the snow and ice sculpture contests, and sand sculpture contests around the world) It would be cool to see what other countries would create considering the different types of resources around the world. A hay sculpture contest perhaps and then after the contest is over, cattle would come have a feast :)

Photo of Helen Moss

How cool would an international contest be? It would take some organizing but I think it's a great idea! Thanks Jennifer.

Photo of Kate Robertson

I LOVE this idea! I would definitely attend such an event. I'm not sure what it is like in Australia, but I know that few Americans appreciate food and it is something that is taken for granted. Hence, the idea of bringing community together to share in the joy of fresh, locally produced food seems like a key element.

I'm wondering if the people who would be inclined to attend this event are those who already understand the relationships between food production and consumption? Of course they would be great attendees, but what about a special piece/push to build awareness for those who aren't educated about production? It appears that this market could benefit greatly from a fair like this. The event could be even more impactful if it aimed to change the habits of these people also.

Maybe taking this event to communities with less resources?
What if the farmers themselves created the designs and took ownerships of distribution the food?

Just thinking out loud...

Great call, I really like it.

Photo of Helen Moss

Thanks for the comment Kate and I think you're right about foodies attending the event. Shaona made a great suggestion about making the sculpture-building a team fund-raising competition and maybe this would bring more diverse communities in.

Photo of Sarah Fathallah

Hey, this reminds me of la "FĂȘte du Citron" in Menton (http://www.feteducitron.com/)... Everyone in town took part of this, and we had to build sculptures out of lemons and oranges. I don't know, I just feel like France knows how to celebrate food :D

Photo of Helen Moss

I have heard of that festival but never looked at the website. The sculptures are so impressive! You're right, France certainly does know how to celebrate food. Since I moved here I have really learnt to appreciate local seasonal food, actually it's quite difficult to get fruit and veg which isn't in season (although it's becoming more common in the supermarkets - unfortunately). There is something satisfying about eating strawberries in the strawberry season and cherries in the cherry season. As well as the produce tasting lovely and fresh, it also feels right - there's a time for everything.