kadri otsiver

Ta aed on tema nägu (Her garden has her face) 

Food is a fundamental part of everyday life and still, I'm often surprised how little people know about what they are eating besides basic dietary knowledge. Food is more than the fuel of the body; it’s deeply embedded within politics, culture, the economy, and ecology. This made me seek people who grasp this complexity and whose everyday actions derive from this knowledge.

Triinu left the city and started a permaculture practice in a rural area of Estonia. Her garden, the biggest in the country, serves proof that the dominant monoculture food production model has an alternative that reaches even beyond organic. Permaculture, in essence, is a form of agriculture that replicates nature's patterns rather than alters them (soil is always covered, various plant species grow together, etc.) It asks to observe first, and then form a team based on equality. The permaculture community believes that small scale community-based agriculture is the future of the food. At a time when parts of UK's soils are decades away from "the fundamental eradication of soil fertility", as warned by the then environment secretary Michael Gove, Triinu's garden is more than small scale experimentation - it is a glimpse of the future.

Ta aed on tema nägu (Her garden has her face) invites the viewer into a carefully constructed and holistic space, however illogical or messy it might seem at first glance. Triinu is familiar with the impulse, embedded in culture, to make her garden neater. She satisfies this need by slightly tidying her hay-beds but rejects the idea of aestheticisation.

The project's visual language has been greatly shaped by the notion of time. I observed and studied the garden, which was circumscribed by the mechanical nature of my analog camera. Unhurriedly, I created my pictures before the sun fell and captured the blossoming and decay of the flora. The resulting imagery tells us something about permaculture’s doctrine, and the individual behind it.

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