24 Carrot Ceramics
01.10.2021 - 07.11.2021
The 24 Carrot Gardens Project educates children in health, wellbeing, and the importance of lifelong learning. Children learn how to grow, harvest and prepare their culinary creations; set tables for their whole class or community; and create their own beautiful ceramic vessels to eat from.
Image Credit: Rémy Chauvin.
“Aesthetics are a social justice issue. Here the most disadvantaged kids are able to access beauty and make their own money by creating wonderful things—this shouldn’t be radical, but it is. ”
The 24 Carrot School Gardens (24CG) program—born in New Orleans in 2007 and then Tasmania in 2014—is all about empowering communities in low-income areas through food education. We work to combat the obesity epidemic and malnutrition in children by empowering kids with the skills to create magnificent, healthy feasts from their own gardens.
What differentiates us from other social programs is the integration of art and lifestyle into every aspect of the project. Children learn to grow, harvest and prepare beautiful culinary creations; they set tables for their class or community and sit together; and they create their own ceramic vessels to eat from with carefully curated glazes and gilding. The presentation of the food platters and table is deeply aesthetic. We believe this artfulness is transformative.
Part of 24 Carrot’s work is to cultivate good design and beauty as a societal value in the next generation. We dissolve class barriers by bringing the beauty and design often reserved for the top 1% of society to the lowest socioeconomic spaces.
This exhibition is the birth of 24 Carrot in the north of the state. These ceramic works were made by children at Bond Place (the 24 Carrot community garden in Gagebrook) and Jordan River Senior School, both in southern Tasmania. And while this exhibition shares the experiences and outcomes of the 24 Carrot program in the south, it also announces our first engagement with children from two northern Tasmanian schools: Ravenswood Primary and East Tamar Primary. Students will pool the proceeds from the sale of their work and apply it collectively towards building the garden space and outdoor classroom at their school.
As part of our radical entrepreneurial projects at Jordan River, high school students will receive the proceeds from the sale of their work directly, with only ten percent going to the gallery—a stellar deal for any artist. 24 Carrot has completed its first year of a high school program, dreaming up what a high school program might look like and testing and perfecting the curriculum. We have found that financial incentives are very effective at sparking inspiration in disengaged and disaffected teenagers.
There is a magic to the large works. They are created by many hands, and the naivety of the hands at work somehow adds up to very sophisticated finished pieces. We can only imagine that it is the hive mind at work—the collective unconscious: one kid runs by and scratches the work; another meticulously coils clay and adds to the group pot. With no singular conscious intention, the result is like a reflection of nature, pure and unpretentious. Only Picasso or a mess of kids can create this.
Design Tasmania acknowledges our supporters.
We are assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts, and by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
Design Tasmania is supported by The Ian Potter Foundation, one of Australia’s major philanthropic foundations.