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Aerial Roots

Art meets Agriculture

Aerial Roots is a film, exhibition of installations, images, sound and video with an interactive website launched at Angus Digital Media Centre in September 2007. Commissioned by the Scottish Screen Archive Live award, Su Grierson, artist and member of a Perthshire farming family, combed the Archive to find footage of traditional farming techniques and responded by creating new footage and recordings of contemporary farming practices .

The main video Aerial Roots was produced in conjunction with Rob Page at Angus Digital Media Centre and is a vibrant visual testament to the persistence of agricultural husbandry and production over an era of technological and Scientific changes.

An exhibition of additional images, sound works and installation by Su Grierson addressed issues related to agriculture, food and the rural environment.

Food and Farming are always in the news. What we eat and how it is produced has never been of greater public concern. To truly bring together Art and Agriculture, at the opening event on Saturday 15th September market stalls were set up within the exhibition selling great local produce. Organic lamb, beef and chicken, free range eggs, preserves, honey and wildflower seeds, honeycomb, preserves and fruit wines were all available to be purchased or sampled.


Aerial Roots a film by Su Grierson & Rob Page ( editing) bringing together archive and contemporary footage. A visual and creative way of looking at the changes from the last 70 years. Underlying the changes, the farming workforce are still enacting the same routines of continuity like cutting grain, tilling soil or tending beasts and above all, this is still the means by which we as a nation are fed.

'Tag' Video Su Grierson
The video Tag watches a large flock of sheep as individuals, at eye level, as they pass through a gateway. External sounds are removed and only the sound of an electronic beep counts them through. With current issues of bio security and traceability the work suggests lost identity against universal traceability.

'The Tatties' Su Grierson with Lee Dorrington ( sound)
Three short archive films looped on one monitor show the importance of children to the farming industry and the value of the humble 'tattie' in the diet of the people in war time rationing. This shows alongside interviews collected in recent months in Perthshire and at Forfar farmers market. These two works are presented together with instruction and information documents collected from one farmers office. Bringing all the aspects together reflects on the situations, dilemmas and questions that surround farming both now and then.

'Walking underneath the world' Su Grierson
This installation comprises three soundworks presented by headphones on bronze 'trees' and ten Giclee prints. Each of the soundworks and images began as a simple record of a real place which has been digitally manipulated to create an altered version of reality. The environment in which agricultural occurs is used as an imaginative space.

The projection Bruise is presented as a sensation of noise, movement and fascination as the bruised grain falls and slides like sand on a dune.

Un-natural Selection shows a video of organic eggs rejected for their unacceptable appearance. Rejected eggs are emblazoned with their defect . The video is shown surrounded by sculptural blocks of coloured egg cartons, symbols of mass production.

Click here to go to the Video page to see examples of video from the Aerial Roots project
Click here to go to 'Underneath the world'.
Click here to go to the Aerial Roots website

All images on this site are copyright of the artist