Monika Dutta is a cross-disciplinary artist and filmmaker. Her practice embraces the disciplines of moving image; photography; drawing; animation; sculpture; yarn- and needle-craft; performance and activism. She has exhibited on an international scale and worked collaboratively to deliver works which collectively map relationships between the tangible natural environment and the constructed realities of a culture driven by technology.
Jake Harries is currently engaged in participatory and media art as an independent practitioner and as Co-Director of Access Space, Sheffield. His work explores ideas of openness in skills and knowledge sharing, focusing on sustainable alternatives to current models of relating to and using the environment, including food procurement, resource consumption and the malleability of the urban environment.
As a collaborative team, we each bring a different but complementary focus of interest and passion to the development of work. Jake is driven by his political critique of the current globalised capitalist economy and its dependence on the concept of linear progress and the pinnacle of human endeavour. He believes that the unequivocal inequalities in the distribution of wealth, and the relentless pursuit of wealth by those in positions of power, can be seen as the generating forces of environmental degradation and climate crisis. Monika's passion is to grow and nurture but not to cultivate and colonise. She firmly believes that modern societies have entrenched systems and patterns of living that hinder wellbeing across all living things and that the developing movements in slow living and off-grid interest are the most viable paths to restoring health in its widest sense.
On a more abstract level, we have also been motivated by exploration and examination of energy, in particular humans' relationship to, and use of, energy. In this context, Jake has been attracted to theories that dig deep into geological time to unpack and recontextualise our relationship to carbon and fossil fuel, while Monika's long established interest in permaculture as a growing system, resonates further with discussions regarding self-sustaining cycles and positive exploitation of the sun's energy via the process of photosynthesis.
As our shared passion, food has become the locus of our tangible production; creating artworks which communicate our challenge to systems of food production and distribution, processing and manufacture, marketing and advertising, and to beliefs about health and nutrition. Together, we synthesise a response to the changes we have witnessed in our immediate environment and in ourselves, precipitated by our decision to allow the land around our home to exist in its natural state; to re-wild, in stark contrast to the surrounding arable farmland which becomes increasingly sterile with industrialised intervention.