Twenty-nine tonnes of carrots have been dumped outside a London university as part of an art installation.
Grounding, a piece by Spanish-Welsh artist Rafael Perez Evans, was installed by a large lorry outside the Ben Pimlott building at Goldsmiths College in New Cross, which is part of the University of London.
The artist said the vegetables are unwanted and would not have made it to supermarket shelves, and will eventually be collected as animal feed.
Since its installation on Tuesday, many students have clambered atop the orange pile for a photo opportunity, with some even taking carrots home to eat.
carrots at goldsmiths. Carrots at goldsmiths pic.twitter.com/SQKtduu7ms
— gaucho trap house (@fromscratch11) September 30, 2020
After seeing the piece, 20-year-old musical theatre student Eden Groualle told the PA news agency: “I thought it was very bizarre but knew this is very Goldsmiths, and all that was left was to understand what it meant.”
According to Mr Perez Evans’ website, the artwork explores “the tensions in visibility between the rural and the city”, and was inspired by European farmers dumping produce as a form of protest.
“The therapeutic technique of grounding involves doing activities that ‘ground’ or electrically reconnect you to the earth,” he added.
The work is part of Goldsmiths’ MFA degree show.
Despite the carrots apparently being rejected by supermarkets, many students said they felt torn about the dumping of so much edible food.
“Even though the carrots are being donated to farm animals at the end of the piece, it’s still slightly problematic given the poverty, food shortages and homelessness in Lewisham,” said Lester Langford, 20, who is from Warwickshire and studies history.
Carrots at goldsmiths carrots at Goldsmiths come and get some carrots from Goldsmiths roll up roll up carrots from Goldsmiths pic.twitter.com/sNMZoILg1T
— Josie🌼 (@sickeningwreck_) September 30, 2020
Josie Power, originally from Norwich, studies performance, politics and society and said she felt conflicted by the “surreal” artwork.
“It was something so fun and bizarre to go and see… but also it’s hard not to acknowledge the glaring problems with food wastage,” said the 20-year-old.
“However, this food was likely to be wasted anyways… so by using them for this project people are suddenly thinking about food wastage and the amount that doesn’t make it to supermarkets to be sold.
“It’s certainly an interesting way to gain attention for a social cause!”