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The Milking Parlour

Installation explores how milk is produced – and how it can be cheaper than bottled water
The Milking Parlour

Two cows will live in Bristol’s Harbourside in a thought-provoking exhibition exploring food and farming systems – and their environmental impacts.

The installation

21 -25 April 2016
Anchor Square, Bristol, BS1 5DB


Milking times (21–25 April)
Breakfast Milking: 08.30–09.15
Lunch Milking: 13.30–14.15
Tea Time Milking: 18.30–19.15

Discussion forum (21–25 April)
Every day from 17.30–18.30 there will be an informal discussion space for all to join – less of a panel and more of a conversation. Nessie will put out clean blackboards every morning with chalk for people to write whatever questions they might have to the cows, farmers, vegans, environmentalists and anyone else. Questions on the board will be addressed during the discussion, which will be followed by the Tea Time Milking session.

Living with cows

Political Ecologist Nessie Reid will live with two pure-bred Guernsey cows for five days in a temporary ‘Milking Parlour’ constructed in Anchor Square, Bristol. Free and open to all, the installation will include three daily milking demonstrations that take place from dawn till dusk.

This immersive and personal exhibition is the culmination of Nessie’s intensive 18-month journey, commissioned by Cape Farewell, exploring organic farms across South West England.

The state of farming

Designed to inspire lively debate and discussion, The Milking Parlour will explore the current state of farming – its impact on the environment and its relationship to climate change, global food inequalities, biodiversity and health. It asks us to question what we consume – and how it impacts on all of our futures.

‘Our planet is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals, with industrial agriculture being one of the largest contributors. If we are to halt our climate crisis, we need first to understand the many complex systems which contribute towards it.

‘I hope ‘The Milking Parlour’ can be a platform to gain a deeper understanding of some of these complex themes around food, and food choices.’

Creator of the Milking Parlour

Throughout the show Nessie will live with the cows: she will milk them, feed them, muck them out and sleep with them, demonstrating the arduous and challenging processes involved in the production of milk.

Click here to find out more about Cape Farewell.

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