The Dominion of Then and Now : lunch on the line

This project, situated in Kings County, Nova Scotia, brings people together to experience art as a community. Until very recently, this valley region had shared another communal history – that of the Dominion Atlantic Railway. The DAR tied communities together through a rich and diverse intersection of international trade, cargo transport, personal travel and the mail – it was a social hub of their everyday.

This daily, lived experience in the community of Berwick, reflects its caring, social nature by incorporating two elements: one temporary construction and one repeated, cooperative activity. The construction references scaled architectural elements of railway heritage and full sized characteristics such as a bench and lunch basket, located adjacent to the old rail bed, now the Apple Capital Heritage Walking Trail. This is the venue upon which the social activity will take place.

A daily schedule is organized to provide a free homemade lunch for any person, left in the basket of the sculpture next to the trailhead. Lunches are labeled with ingredients, maker’s name and community affiliation, along with a comment, memory, or personal message. The unassigned lunch allows anyone desiring a lunch, to have one – the anonymous consumption and enjoyment being an important participation in the work.

In all respects, this project is communal. It is created by community and consumed by community. The note cards will provide a written record of DAR memories and the current railway trail, for Berwick residents and visitors to the Uncommon Common Art Project.

Thanks to Town of Berwick Rec Dept, the Knitting Circle, Dan Conlin, the Driftwood Restaurant, Larry’s Pharmacy, North Mountain Coffee, Uncommon Common Artists and many others for their participation.

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