Residency at Villa Lena
Tuscany, Italy
October-November 2019

Between October and November 2019, I spent six weeks on an art residency at Villa Lena in Tuscany. I went to reflect on permanence and longevity in a food-based practice, and inevitably made work about generosity, metaphors, collaboration and place. I baked sourdough daily, walked in nature everyday and ate food grown a few meters from where we slept.

I had the pleasure to share a studio with Liv Caroline and Louise Jacobsen from BLAD journal, who filled the space with foraged plants, next to my fermented experiments. I taught workshops on fermentation and creative recipe writing.

I set myself a daily practice of bread baking, making a loaf for each of the 42 days I spent at the Villa, each time a different recipe. I saved and dried a slice of each bread, keeping an archive in the studio. During my last week, I made a loaf containing a piece of each of those archived slices. A bread of breads. Six weeks of baking, sharing and talking shrunk into one slowly fermented loaf. A small thing containing big things.

As a donation to Villa Lena foundation, I made and left behind a ceramic pot, containing my sourdough starter, sealed with beeswax. During six weeks, I experimented with ceramics, with beeswax, grew my first koji (the foundation for miso) and dried big sheets of scoby. Fermentation is a portal into stretching space and time, an easy but complex process full of metaphors. This little pot may hold just a tiny bit of starter, but somehow contains the whole world.

Photos by Lottie Hampson, Claudia del Olmo and Pascal Wetzstein.