This November we’re celebrating the sixth annual Carrot Carnival! A community and cultural event that brings together the schools and communities that the 24 Carrot Gardens program connects with for a day filled with art, food and music.
This year, artist Selena de Carvalho joins us to curate the festivities. We caught up with Selena to learn more about the plans for the day, her arts practice and her approach to radical acts of care and inspiring future climate custodians.
Hi Selena! Thanks for joining us today. We’re thrilled to be collaborating with you on the sixth annual Carrot Carnival. Art is a vital aspect of all our programs at 24 Carrot Gardens. Can you share a little bit about yourself and your arts practice?
My practice is interdisciplinary and takes on many forms including installation, performance and sound works. It is situated in imagined ecologies and I spend a lot of time in the natural environment. Places such as fields, forests and rivers and especially those that are vulnerable. I translate the experience of being with these vulnerable places into art experiences extending the act of empathy and listening.
What is the connection between your arts practice and the Carrot Carnival?
The work of 24 Carrot Gardens is very much aligned with my ethos. An ongoing question is ‘how do you break through social circumstances and open them up to new possibilities?’. Art, humour, food and beauty can all do that.
My art is usually experienced by a few people at a time so the challenge here was to think about an artful experience for 1,300 people and mostly 8 to 12 year olds!
Another consideration has been ‘how do we open up a conversation about climate change for this age group?'. And how do we encourage curiosity and dreaming into a future space that can either be presented with false hope and positivity or as defeatist and fatalistic?
The answer in a way is to come back to basics and this is also what the 24 Carrot Gardens program does so well. It’s radically simple. Put your hands in the soil, watch the cycles of nature, recognise where food comes from. This all brings joy and a sense of connection and belonging.
What is your hope for Carnival goers and their experience this year?
I hope they make phenomenal memories. Maybe new knowledge will be gained. We have a panel of experts lined up to answer questions related to climate change. And maybe we will be entertained. We have programmed some great performance ensembles and artists including a ‘Weather MC’—essentially a cloud providing an update on weather patterns!
We hope people will bring their curiosity and be ready to have some fun.
Thanks so much for your time Selena! We look forward to seeing you at the Carnival. Where else can we find you?
This summer I’ll be with the ocean and the bespoke mobile Elsewhere Sauna. You can find me on Sundays at Randalls Bay Beach. Come for a swim, a sauna and repeat. The sauna really encourages people to care for themselves and I’m really just there to open the door. It’s another way I can care for and restore nature—in this case of the human kind!
Selena de Carvalho is an interdisciplinary experimental artist living in Longley, lutruwita, Tasmania and this year’s Carrot Carnival curator.
24 Carrot Gardens is a program of the Material Institute.
Written by Magdalena Lane