Toffe Peren | Quirky Carrots wants to change the perception concerning quirky fruits and vegetables often referred to as 'misfits' which we don't think they are! We want to raise awareness and show people more of the natural ways in which our foods can grow and inform them about foodwaste. We do so with the means of photography creating beautiful images of our Quirky Carrots. By the way: did you know that in Dutch our name is 'Toffe Peren'? Which, literally translated, means 'Cool Pears'? It doesn't actually refer to the fruit but when you say this about someone you mean someone is really great. We found this a perfect name for our project as it is a great word play which brings across our point exactly. In English we couldn't find a similar saying (let us know if there is ) so we just came up with our own: Quirky Carrots!
With our Quirky Carrots we want to become a visual voice in the debate on food waste.
Everyone who has ever worked in a garden knows this: most fruit and vegetables grow quite differently than the ones we can buy in the supermarket. In Europe, there used to be laws by which our fruits and vegetables were judged strictly on the way they looked. A fair amount of these laws has been banned, yet for a few fruits and vegetables they are still in existence. A kiwi, for example, is not allowed to have fruits attached to each other and thus you will never find a beautiful kiwi in the shape of a heart at a European grocery store.
Due to these laws, we became more and more used to seeing fruits and vegetables that look like the ones in the grocery store: without any spots or flaws, and identical in size, form and color. Quality seems to be defined as products that all look alike. However, what’s more boring than that? You can barely find the twisted brother of, for instance, the cucumber in the supermarket although taste and nutrients are, of course, the same.
Worldwide an average of 30% of our food goes to waste. A part of this number are those fruits and vegetables that never become part of the food chain in the first place due to their different appearance.
Who are we?
We are Annette Behrens and Carina Hesper and have joined forces to create Toffe Peren. We are both very passionate about food and want to change the perception concerning foodwaste.
Annette Behrens (GER, 1979) is a visual artist working with photography, video and text on long-term, documentary projects resulting in publications and installations. In her works she deconstruct the often one-dimensional representation of universal subjects revealing a multifaceted, complex reality. She uses personal, historical and social angels to unveil and question different perspectives.
Annette's work has been exhibited at the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam/ The Netherlands and Photomonth Krakow/ Poland, amongst others. Besides initiating her own projects she regularly work as a teacher for photography (theory) and the history of photography. She has worked as a guest teacher for AKV St. Joost's BA and MA photography courses, the Willem de Kooning Academy and Syracuse University, among others.
Carina Hesper (NL, 1983) challenges the viewer to get actively involved in her work that often is about people with a special or marginal position in society and vulnerable locations and themes like burned down houses and rescued food. This results in works of art and design that are confrontational rather than comfortable, compelling the viewer to take a stand, and to reflect on social issues and developments.
Carina graduated Cum Laude from the ArtEZ Institute for the Arts in Arnhem, The Netherlands. She has exhibited her work in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Brazil, The United States and China. She was nominated for many prizes - and recently won the jury prize at the European Design Awards with her multi-sensory book Like a Pearl in my Hand.