Final Straw Panel Discussion at Edinburgh College of Art with Emily Brady, Mike Small, Ben Twist and Chris Fremantle.

Edinburgh: Rough Cut Exhibition Recap

From health professionals to foodies to artists, a room filled with ecologically open-minded individuals gathered last night in Edinburgh, Scotland to talk about what exactly art, food, and sustainability have to do with each other.

The night kicked off the Final Straw exhibition, which is a showing of in-progress works from our research and filming about natural farming. It will be on display in TENT Gallery at Edinburgh College of Art through Friday, 29 November.

Suhee Kang, Mike Small, Emily Brady, Ben Twist, Chris Fremantle, and Patrick Lydon at opening night of the Final Straw exhibition, November 26, 2013 at TENT Gallery, Edinburgh.

We’re very thankful for the participation of Dr. Emily Brady, Mike Small, Ben Twist, and our panel chair Chris Fremantle, who lead us through largely uncharted territory last night. The discussion was unique and treacherous at times, as we brought three professionals from very different backgrounds together who, as a result of the spaces in which they operate, necessarily speak three different ‘professional’ dialects. This is not standard operating procedure!

Yet, for the first time, these individuals came together to talk about a common subject, that of sustainability and our connection with the natural world.

Preview screening of short clips from Final Straw documentary at Art, Space & Nature Studio in Edinburgh.

It reminds me of a thought that the late Masanobu Fukuoka once wrote down in reference to natural farming:

…the point must be reached where scientists, politicians, artist, philosophers, men of religion… should gather here, gaze out over these fields, and talk things over together. I think that his is the kind of thing that must happen if people are to see beyond their specialties.

Well, we weren’t on a field, but last night’s gathering had a similar point: to start a dialogue on this subject between people from very different disciplines. It represents an especially big first step for myself, Suhee, and the Final Straw project, because it is at the root of what we are trying to accomplish. Like Fukuoka, we believe that in order for the ecological crisis to have any viable solution, these kinds of gatherings need to become, not the exception, not the crazy on-the-edge outlying events, but the rule of how we as a society, choose to proceed into a viable future.

The Final Straw exhibition, November 2013 at TENT Gallery, Edinburgh.

So, seeing about 40-50 people turn up to our little discussion and exhibition over the course of one night, well, it was rather encouraging.

It was even more encouraging to see that much of the audience were not simply ‘interested’ in the topic, but were active instigators who are already far advanced in DOING something about issues concerning sustainability across broad social and geographical areas. It means we’re all riding the same wave, and it’s getting bigger with each individual effort.

Suhee and Patrick speak at opening night of the Final Straw exhibition, November 26, 2013 at TENT Gallery, Edinburgh.

So thank you again, to all who attended last night, and if you haven’t already, please please, help the Final Straw with these three things:

  1. Sign up for our mailing list or follow our Facebook to keep up to date on events
  2. Tell your friends about what we are doing, and finally…
  3. Tell us about your events and goings on, so we can help spread the message!

Below are a few photos from the night courtesy of our wonderful roaming photographers Stephanie Ghetta, Yanli Shen, and Zhao Xie. Please Enjoy!