Wildcraft

The Brixton Market is an old, meandering Caribbean food market, bursting with energy, atmosphere and a true sense of community. The stalls are bulging with exotic fruits, vegetables, fish, clothing and bargains; the reggae music is pounding away amongst the orderly chaos. Located in south London, it really came to life in the 1940's when the area became the centre of the immigrant West Indian community. Anna Lucas is an artist living in the area. She has been interviewing the merchants and shoppers at the market about how they use roots and herbs to cure their ailments. She has taken the descriptions of ten of these herbs and made them into a series of gold-printed brown paper bags. Each one has a picture of an herb, in gold, on the front and a transcript on the back. The traders have been giving them out when selling their produce. When this treehugger went searching for the bags several of the traders said "oh the artist, she just shows up and gives them out whenever she feels like it". An old geezer with a flat cap said that the colours should be stronger on them (he was right). After five stops—success at last. Coriander (pictured) above with quotes on the back: "They are different lot of communities living in Brixton, they are from different part of the world so different part of the world people use different type of herbs. If some people are from Columbia they use more oregano, tarragon, mint and thyme. If somebody's from Jamaica they use thyme more. There is not one Indian who is not using coriander in their food. Coriander is every day. I see the Indian Mister Singh, he is supplying 400 boxes per day. This means 9000 bunches coriander he supplying in the market." :: South London Gallery

Tags: London

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