While the majority of us live in urban centres, the countryside remains a powerful image within our collective imagination. However, the perceptions and assumptions we hold are often very different from the lived reality of rural spaces. These ideas play on our sense of nostalgia, harking back to a simpler way of life, as well as contributing to our national identity.
Jam-scape is a body of research that seeks to engage with these myths and contradictions by considering the how the contemporary image and role of the rural is disseminated within an urban context. By focusing on jam, a product that is available and has characteristics of both the urban and rural, this project considered how narratives of marketing, packaging, ingredients and different processes contribute to the rural idyll.
Through a series of interventions including Supermarket Jam, where the packaging of the cheapest jam from Jumbo was altered to appear homemade; and From the Freezer to the Hill, a performative walk, from the supermarket to the countryside that culminated in making jam in an action of reverse foraging; Jamscape contemplates the dominance of this imagined rurality in food production, as well as questioning the role of the artist in dispersing these perceptions, particularly through traditional Landscape Painting and current social practice trends.