Britain has a long history of people growing their own food. A need for self-sufficiency during World War II resulted in many new allotments in urban areas. Now these spaces are as popular as ever and people’s reasons for using them have diversified along with the food produced. Allotment Life uses indoor and outdoor exhibitions of photography and food to explore Londoners’ relationships with their allotments.
In Gallery Square, photographs by artist Emma Wood, capture life on two local allotments over a year of growing. The exhibition explores people’s motivations for having a plot and their relationships with each other and their crops. In many ways, allotments like these have become important social spaces for urban integration in London.
Plot holders talk about the health benefits of physical labour and fresh food. Others are motivated by cutting carbon, by financial savings or by having control over how their food is grown. Having an allotment also allows city dwellers to connect with nature. The best thing for many issocialising with a diverse range of people andswapping their tips, traditions and crops.
Outside, visitors can explore the Allotment Life vegetable garden, inspired by the allotment holders featured in this exhibition.