Sunday, June 27, 2010

Supermarket Psychosis

By Emma Holister

This series of images is close to my heart because of its visually emotional revolt against the madness of consumerism.

Its place on the Net has always been on my art website but I feel that it belongs as much these days on my natural health blog as I focus increasingly on permaculture and removing from my life the remaining vestiges of dependence on supermarkets.

In fact I have developed the perverse pleasure of going on unshopping-sprees, where I walk through the radioactively luminous corridors of products and count all the things that I used to think essential and that I have now gleefully banished from my life.

Growing my own organic foods has been a bit scary, being of the non-green-fingered sector of the population, but much of this anxiety has been assuaged by learning about wild perennial (grows back from roots each year) foods and forest gardening; albeit in the small enclosure of my courtyard. All I can say is thank goodness for wild roquette (creeping yellow cress), plantains and jerusalem artichokes (sunroots), that seem to be indestructible and require virtually no gardening skills whatsoever. However, being the brave gardening Amazon I am, I have continued to battle it out with the slugs and snails forever lusting after my precious sunflowers, the seeds of which I use throughout the year to grow microgreen salads in my kitchen window. And I have valiantly embarked upon new projects each year, be it Welsh onions (like giant chives), courgettes and runner beans. All very useful for their generous yield per plant and simplicity for growing and harvesting seeds, not to mention the fact that they are marvellous anti-candida foods. So the food autonomy side of things is going quite well really.

Although I have to admit that striking sanitary towels from my shopping list was a challenge. But even those have now been replaced by nifty washable ones that I sew by hand, the pattern for which I will soon be putting up in the Permaculture Design section along with patterns for simple home-made clothes from sheets, blankets and curtains. I may sound like the contents of a laundry basket but you'd be surprised how normal I look despite this recent eccentricity in my wardrobe's contents. It has certainly helped to learn how to crochet, nothing like a bit of home-made lace to make those sheets look extra fancy! And I am particularly looking forward to the day I never buy underwear again . . . because yes, knickers and bras, you can make them yourself, even frilly ones!

Anyway, back to Supermarket Psychosis, the first sketches of this series were done many eons ago in 1991. I finally did the drawings with the first round of colour prints in 2004. I have since redone the colour prints and the three main images are soon to become paintings as well.


Rose said...

Love how sustainable you are making your life. Please write more about what you are doing. Your writing is giving me hope in a time where resources may be limited, food, fuel, etc. Your creativity and pro active style is giving me ideas and hope. Anything you do in the direction of sustainability. More about which vegetables and herbs you are growing. Some photos of your garden (in the small cement backyard). I am looking at putting in beds over a cement patio after having gardened in real soil for years. You are an inspiration. Thank you. More please

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