Twenty-nine tonnes of carrots have been dumped outside a London university as part of an art project highlighting food wastage.
Londoners took to social media on Wednesday to share photos and videos of the 29,000 kilograms of carrots that were dumped outside Goldsmiths College in south London.
A lorry was recorded offloading the produce onto a street on the university campus as a crowd of students watched.
“Does anyone know why a significant volume of carrots has just been dumped on Goldsmiths university campus?” one bemused Twitter user asked.
Another shared a video of the bright orange veggies lying in a pile on the road.
Does anyone know why a significant volume of carrots has just been dumped on Goldsmiths university campus? pic.twitter.com/oYj51IxHfp
— George Greenwood (@GeorgeGreenwood) September 30, 2020
The Goldsmiths press office confirmed the carrots are part of an art exhibition on the campus.
The press office said: “The carrots are an installation called ‘Grounding’ by the artist Rafael Pérez Evans.
“Rafael has just completed his Masters in Fine Art at Goldsmiths and his work has been installed as part of the MFA degree show.
“Rafael has arranged for the carrots to be removed at the end of the exhibition run and donated to animals.”
The artist said the vegetables, which will eventually be collected as animal feed, were rejected by supermarkets.
Since its installation on Tuesday, many students were seen climbing the orange pile to take photos and some took carrots home to eat.
Musical theatre student Eden Groualle said she thought it was “very bizarre”.
“But I knew this is very Goldsmiths, and all that was left was to understand what it meant,” she said.
According to Mr Perez Evans’s website, the artwork explores “the tensions in visibility between the rural and the city”, and was inspired by European farmers dumping produce as a protest.
“The therapeutic technique of grounding involves doing activities that ‘ground’ or electrically reconnect you to the earth,” he added.
Many students said they felt torn about the dumping of so much edible food, despite supermarkets not wanting them.
“Even though the carrots are being donated to farm animals at the end of the piece, it’s still slightly problematic given the poverty, food shortages and homelessness in Lewisham,” said Lester Langford, 20, who is from Warwickshire and studies history.
Student Josie Power said she felt conflicted by the “surreal” artwork.
“It was something so fun and bizarre to go and see… but also it’s hard not to acknowledge the glaring problems with food wastage,” the 20-year-old said.