SWAMP food is what Lars Stenberg would call the massive saucepan that would sit on the stovetop all week in his shared house. What would start out as a bolognaise sauce would be part of a Mexican dish by the week’s end with different spices.
To this day, the Ballarat artist says the experience from those early years out of art school, taught him the value of quality food and a strong appreciation for having a full fridge.
Food insecurity was very real to Stenberg in his shared flat of the 1980s in Scotland but he said there was always some degree of hope food worries would end once his career started to steady. But for many, limited and uncertain access to food in Ballarat was a seemingly endless struggle.
- READ MORE:‘Wake up call’ on food security
Stenberg is backing Art for a Cause, a gala event to support The Ballarat Foundation with 100 per cent of money raised in a high-end auction to support #feedballarat, an appeal to address food insecurity across the region and to introduce a Foodbank warehouse.
“It’s an untackled area we should be looking at more. We live in a country with an abundance of food we’re sloshing all over the place and it is incredible some do not have access to it,” Stenberg said.
“My experience was 30-odd years ago and it makes me appreciate my ability to buy good food.”
I always wanted to have enough money to heat my house without worrying about food – a bit more fresh fruit and veg would have been nice.
Stenberg said his flatmates would buy in bulk. Lentils, rice and a soy protein mince (one flatmate was vegetarian) were staples they got creative with because it was cheaper to cook together than try and go alone.
He was a bit hungry, and definitely ate a lot less to get by. He does not want others to have to go through the same experience.
Stenberg would not normally donate one of his works but a coastal landscape of Point Hicks in Gippsland will be put to auction in Art for a Cause.
The auction will also feature works from Steve and Sue Sedgwick, Deb Johnston, Daniel Henderson, Doug Wright, Anne Saunders, Tarli Glover, Julie Collins, Derek John and Margaret Delahunty-Spencer. No work will sell under its reserve price.
Art is on display at Craig’s Royal Hotel in the gallery restaurant.
The event will feature food as art at Craig’s under prominent chef Ian Curley, teamed with performing arts from Ballarat export Laura Burzacott and her A capella group Ginger and Tonic.
Art for a Cause is September 6: theballaratfoundation.org.au.
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