Exploring a shared interest in food and agriculture, artist Elizabeth Willing creates a sculptural work with the students of Boonah State High that engages with some of the possibilities and dilemmas of in vitro meat production. Spontaneous Mutations is a laser cut, stainless steel table with a blown glass udder beneath, the four supporting legs shifting between furniture and fauna. The table design, including the laser cut motif, was collaboratively developed between the students and Willing. Through the visual languages of the lab, the farm, and the industrial kitchen, the artwork explores the nuances of the body as product and consumer.
We consume new food technology constantly; novel ingredients, genetically modified plants, and ultra-processed foods marketed as convenient or healthy. In the pursuit of an alternative to farm grown meat, scientists are developing the methods to independently grow meat from cells. While there is a hope and trust placed in the labs who design our evolving diets, these new complex and artificial processes will adopt an entirely different set of environmental, mechanical, health and ethical issues to our current flawed system. The act of eating will continue to challenge both our mouth and mind in our pursuit of the future of food.
Spontaneous Mutations is part of The Schools Challenge Project which brings a youthful lens to the festival’s art/science program. Students from four selected Queensland schools are paired up with local artists to bring their creative and inquisitive artwork ideas to life.
About the Creator
Elizabeth Willing is a Brisbane based visual artist whose works are performative and often participatory explorations of food and hosting. Primarily working in sculpture, installation, and performance, Willing’s work additionally takes the form of performance meals.
Elizabeth has completed a Masters of Fine Art at Queensland University of Technology. She has undertaken residences across Australia as well as at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin and in the Helsinki International Art Program. Exhibitions of Elizabeth’s work have been held in Australia and overseas including at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Trapholt Museum of Art and Design in Denmark, GOMA in Brisbane, and the Musee Beaux Arts Angers in France.
Elizabeth Willing is represented by Tolarno Galleries Melbourne.
View Elizabeth’s website.
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