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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
What is the 50/50 Principle? What is the 50/50 Principle?

Stéfanie Bourne

Red Herring


Red Herring is used to describe something that provides
a false or misleading clue, often in a detective story.
Albert Jack: Red Herring and White Elephants
Production, distribution, consumption and compostation: what we eat and how it gets to us

Stéfanie Bourne came to Huntly from Brittany, France, in the summer of 2010.

The knock-on effect of what we eat and how it reaches us has many financial and ethical implications. Every day we make decisions about which products we buy and the distance that our daily shopping travels to get to us. While this community is located in the rural heartland of the Aberdeenshire farmland, there are now no greengrocers trading in Huntly. Lamb in the supermarkets mainly comes from New Zealand, local livestock from our fields is exported to Europe, and specifically to France, the homeland of Stéfanie Bourne.

In the process of trying to lower carbon emissions on a global scale, decisions made on a local level are critical. In an exploration of food-mileage and carbon footprints, what are the personal and political relationships between people, countries, culture and food?


Stéfanie’s practice emphasises the importance of processes. Through her research she introduces subtle interventions in our routines; actions that provoke critical reflection, while being embedded in the mechanisms of daily life. Her activities are all in the public domain, which she transforms into an arena for discussion and topical analysis, with little, if any, division between art, life and participation.

For the project Stéfanie engaged a variety of people in conversations concerning food production, distribution, consumption and finally destruction. Opening her studio as a grocery shop for bartering vegetables, she initiated the space as a venue for discussion about growing and eating local produce. For a month there was a vegetable-swapping stall on the square - if you had too many carrots, you might swap them for some much needed tatties.

As part of her final event in Huntly ‘compost action’, Stéfanie filled the boot compartments of brand new cars, which had a significant carbon emission and cash value attached, with several tones of compost. She then invited people to come to the Farmer’s Market in the town square to take the compost away in any re-usable containers. This action followed an onsite and online discussion in Barron’s Greenhouses on International Networking Mobility, Art and the Environment. Speakers and respondents were Tessa Jackson (Iniva), PLATFORM, Adam Sutherland (Grizedale Arts), Sophie Hope (Birkbeck College), Donald Boyd (Huntly Development Trust) and David Butler (Intersections, Newcastle University).

Shadow Curator: Jonathan Baxter


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