Vibrant, versatile, tasty and…magical? New exhibition shows a whole new side to the everyday beetroot

Image credit: Helen Williamson

A new exhibition in Huddersfield is celebrating the art, science and magic of beetroot.

The exhibition is the work of the Beetroot Collective, a group of creative people based in Huddersfield who are all fans of beta vulgaris, the humble beetroot.

“Everyone takes beetroot for granted,” says David Velez, one of the artists involved in the exhibition. “But it has some amazing properties.

“Eating beetroot can help prevent dementia, and scientists are looking at using betanin, which is what gives beetroot its colour, to develop sustainable solar energy systems.”

Among the artworks in the exhibition will be drawings made with beetroot ink, new recipes for beetroot jam, and clothes that have been given magical powers by using beetroot dye.

“In ancient cosmology, the planet Saturn rules agriculture and roots,” says Harley Watson, who designed the clothes. “The influence of Saturn in everyday life can be intensified by using dark root vegetables such as beetroot according to traditional rules of magic.”

As well as artworks, the exhibition features a concert in honour of beetroot and other vegetables at Clayton Fields Allotments in Birkby. The live music has been chosen to contain elements that scientists have identified as helping plants to grow, including the human voice, tones at the right frequency, and music that resembles the sound of insects.

“Gardeners have always known that talking to plants is good for them, and scientific investigations have now taken that further and identified the best range of sounds. We will be applying some of that knowledge in the concert” says organiser David Velez.

The Beetroot Collective Exhibition is at Unit 35 on the Piazza 11am-4pm from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st November.

To attend the free concert, go to Clayton Fields Allotments on George Avenue by St Patrick’s primary school, HD2 2BJ, on Sunday, November 21st at 2pm – check out the event page on Facebook here.

The Beetroot Collective exhibition is being produced by The Making Space, based in the Media Centre, Huddersfield, who have previously organised the Made in Huddersfield events and the 21 Market Place music venue and gallery.

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