Explore Wassailing and the microbial ecology of cider-making with Simon Pope
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Explore Wassailing and the microbial ecology of cider-making with Simon Pope

“Here’s to thee Old Apple Tree,” we declaim to the apple tree, every year on Old Twelfth Night, as part of traditional wassail celebrations. But who else takes part in cider-making? What of the fungi forming symbiotic relationships with the trees’ root systems? And what of the yeasts, living “wild” on the apple skins, that are vital to the fermentation process? Join us for a new type of wassail that celebrates this microbial ecology.

This is the culmination of artist Simon Pope’s latest project in Devon, exploring the relationships between microbial ecology and human community. Pope has worked in close-collaboration with folk singer-songwriter Jim Causley, and ceramic artist Abigail North to produce a new folk song and experimental wassail bowl that will be presented at this public performance.

This event begins with a drop-in tour of objects relating to pottery and cider at RAMM with Asssitant Curator Tom Cadbury and Contemporary Art Curator Lara Goodband.

A mini-bus ride will then depart from RAMM to Gray’s Farm Cider near Tedburn St Mary with artist Simon Pope to explore Wassailing and the microbial ecology of cider-making. Mini-bus returns at 18.30pm to RAMM.

This work has been informed by a series of hands-on workshops at Grays Farm Cider, with participants specialising in cider-making, ecology, folk traditions, and local food culture.

This project is a partnership with the University of Exeter Arts and Culture, Grays Farm Cider and The University of Toronto. It is funded by the Social Science & Humanities Research Council in Canada and Arts Council England.

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