Many varieties of wild yeast present in the environment that have been used for centuries to leaven bread and ferment beer. In this form they are referred to as ‘starter cultures’. Working with scientists, bakers and home-brew enthusiasts, Beinart experimented with capturing and growing these cultures, and developing them into Starter Kits, which were been distributed to local residents and visitors to take care of, use for food production, grow, divide and pass on. The project attempted to create a network through which these Loughborough-born cultures could be spread regionally, nationally and globally. The systems of transport and exchange that help the culture to spread were tracked through the project.
The project culminated in an bread fair where culture 'caretakers' returned to Loughborough with products they had made from the culture. The event indulged peoples competitive side in a ‘Breadwinner’ competition, where the bread’s bought by participants were sampled by a panel of judges and the local public, in search of the best loaf.
Rebecca Beinart is an artist and educator based in Nottingham. Her projects explore the territory between art, ecology and politics and take the form of live events in public places, sculpture, installation, and interventions. Many projects involve long-term engagement with a place and evolve through collaborative research. She also works on collaborative projects, including Origination, a long-term project with her sister Katy Beinart, investigating migration, family history and place-making.