28 January – 25 June 2023
10am - 5pm, Tuesday - Sunday
Orleans House Gallery
Superm̶a̶r̶k̶e̶t̶Forest – the shelves are full, hands have been made muddy preparing the rarefied earth for your shopping delights!
Will you join the revolution?
Artist Andrew Merritt has created an immersive installation at Orleans House Gallery. Prepare for shopping trolleys, aisle 1, earthly products and goddesses. Welcome to Superm̶a̶r̶k̶e̶t̶Forest, will you join the revolution?
The supermarket provides us with all our daily needs. Where once we wandered the woods for our food, we now wander the aisles. This project subverts the idea of a supermarket through sculpture and interactive design. Andrew (part of the artist duo Something & Son) explores social and environmental issues via everyday scenarios. His work criss-crosses the boundaries between the visual arts, architecture and activism.
Andrew has transformed our gallery space into a supermarket, but not as we know it. An imagined, future forest replaces vacuum-packed, plastic, consumerist products; shelves packed with ecosystems, familiar shapes with unfamiliar fillings. As we enter the vibrancy of spring and summer, the exhibition is growing, and the shelves are filling. This supermarket challenges our perception of food and where our food comes from. How can our food systems once more allow our global ecosystems to flourish?
Andrew has collaborated with various people in the creation of Superm̶a̶r̶k̶e̶t̶Forest including ethnobotanist Dr Sarah Edwards. Ethnobotany is the study of the interrelationship between people and plants. It includes the study of the use of plants by humans and the relationship between humans and vegetation.
Could you be a guardian of a sculptural ecosystem?
Sculptures of popular products and brands are being made from seed, soil and mycelium. Come summer they will be planted into the gallery grounds and beyond. If you are interested in receiving a sculpture for your garden, public space or somewhere else, please do get in touch.
Can you imagine our urban environment as a forest once more?
Superm̶a̶r̶k̶e̶t̶Forest is part of the Cultural Reforesting programme. Find out more here: Cultural Reforesting.
Read Andy’s biography
Find out more about Sarah and some of her work with us here: Dr Sarah Edwards Sarah is running ethnobotanical tours called Stories of the Forest throughout the show and visit our What’s On for the details.