We’re an Art Fermentory!

Fermentation: Isn’t that essentially what artmaking is?  To take something you already have and transform it into something new?  Charcoal and paper become a drawing. A lump of earth becomes a vessel.  Organized sounds become music.

The process requires yeast to transform one food item into another.  And what is the art yeast?  Ideas bubble and percolate.  One brush stroke guides you to the next.  The creative spark, the urge to doodle, the need to express oneself.  It’s innate and a birthright.

But the yeast alone, that creative drive, is not enough – it requires a medium in which to grow.

In artmaking, what is that warm sugar medium, the fermentory?  Elements include the tools, the skill building, the materials, the space, and the encouragement.

Hmmm – where can you find all those elements, right here in Belfast?  Let me think….   That’s what Waterfall Arts strives to be – a fermentory of the arts.

And our new show in the Clifford Gallery is called Fermentation, and the 19 artists cover the subject in many wild wonderful ways.

Artist Lesia Sochor — long-time Waterfall Arts teacher, former Board member, and home fermentor –approached us with this idea: to have a show of artwork about fermentation, for invited artists to team up with a local commercial or home-based fermentor and then make work inspired by that specific bubbling transformative process.

We generated a list of fermented food and drink: wines made of fruit, grape, flower; mead; beer; sauerkraut; kimchi; kombucha; gin; vodka; hard cider; vinegar; kefir; yogurt; sourdough breads; some pickles; tempeh, Worcestershire sauce.  And this is just a start!

Given such a diverse list of processes, we specifically invited artists of many different media to participate: painting, assemblage, sculpture, photography, video, dance, print, performance, poetry, clay, glass, fiber, and sound.

Many worked closely with area brewers, fermenters, bakers, while others followed their own fermentia.    We knew they would approach the subject from many angles as well: literally, metaphorically, physically – you name it.  The contributing artists really stretched themselves, connecting with the subject to create wonderful wild innovations.  You should definitely catch it before it ends in September.

-Martha Piscuskas

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