“Friends who ferment” is a piece inspired by stories of travellers and migrants travelling with dry ferments in their pockets - pieces of cloth embedded with starters for bread, cheese, yoghurt… preserved indefinitely, ready to be reawakened wherever they end up.  Dirty cloths to outside eyes, but, in reality, portals into a whole world.

This quilt is made up of fermented patches sent to me by friends and friends of friends, pieces of their own travelling ferments. It may warm your legs, or provide you with a whole meal; a pooling together of resources, a possibility for cyclical sustenance, a warm shelter. What you take out, you can add back in again, in perpetuity.

With contributions by Aquela Kombucha, Social Pickle, Jelena Belgrave, Melanie McIntosh, Maya Minder, Kaajal Modi, Fatima Tarkleman, Thom Eagle, Petar Sapundijev, Victoria Manganiello, Carmen Facio and more.

Photos by Sam Nightingale.

Exhibition view, The London Open 2022, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2022
Cotton, linen, cotton and linen threads, wool batting, various dry fermented foods (sourdough starter, yoghurt, jun, kombucha SCOBY, vinegar mother, rhubarb, oak galls, carrot tops, strawberries, onion skins)

Research for this artwork was initiated in the context of the "Artist-Community Synergies” of the Art Pluriverse Community Science Series (1st ed. 2020, Textile Month) by the Biennale of Wester Balkans, in collaboration with SEN Heritage Looms and Sofia Tsourinaki.