Sylvia Grace Borda: Lumsden Biscuit

Communal project, 2016

The Lumsden Biscuit brings forward Borda’s vision to combine photographic histories, contemporary artwork and the capability to explore new ways of incorporating rather than moving away from ecological representation. The Lumsden Biscuit is in part shaped by artistic intervention as a forum for extending conversations on food production. Equally it is an artwork drawn from observation, and in the way of Felix Gonzalez Torres, can be produced and used by the community to produce ‘open multiple artworks’ for on-going and renewed display, community celebration, and for distribution. 

Perhaps the real legacy of the Lumsden Biscuit is its adoption into the community acting as an agent of change and co-production. It is hoped that as jobs change in NE Scotland, the Lumsden Biscuit initiative may be spoken as one of the projects associated with developing inter-generational opportunities to assist with socio-economic regeneration as well as a platform from which to discuss environmental justice and the arts.  Social and environmental sustainable regeneration projects often fail due to lack of funds, time or resources. What the Lumsden Biscuit has proven is community willingness to participate, collaborate, and discover new synergies to self-manage their own resources and environment can be possible at a low-level of funded investment. 

At present youth are being trained by village seniors in how to become artisan bakers to further produce different flavoured and textured Lumsden Biscuits. In creating an intergenerational forum and social enterprise through the Lumsden Biscuit, it is hoped youth employment will expand and in due course participant youth bakers will start up their own initiatives that continue to innovate and foster sustainable economic and development approaches in the Village. Additionally and through the artist’s efforts, Lumsden, Aberdeenshire is now in dialogue and partnership with Lumsden, Saskatchewan, Canada, wherein, new projects are being internationally programmed to celebrate both communities’ futures, whilst also creating and producing stronger economic ties.

Indeed the Lumsden Biscuit offers much more than what one might think at first glance. It’s hard to imagine but a biscuit can make a world of difference in how we might think about expending energies and prioritising higher goals of how we sustain communities and the environments that surround and define us. 

- Annie Nicholson, Lumsden Community Association member

Read the whole discussion "The making of the Lumsden Biscuit an international story" between Annie Nicholson and Sylvia Grace Borda here