My research (see research folder) shows that eating habits are formed by a number of factors, some of them are personal, economical, environmental and cultural. That is especially noticeable in Leonarda’s case. She was growing up in a low-income family in a countryside and is used to grow or gather provision by herself and to prepare food from the most available supplies. Even after she moved to Britain, her eating habits didn’t change a lot, but now it’s not a question of availability, but of personal preferences.
I was photographing Leonarda while she was making several buckets with the sauerkraut with cranberries and apples.
I also photographed her with hay that she keeps in her bedroom. The smell reminds her of childhood when the family used hay to fill pillows. It was economically hard time for the family, but Leonarda remembers it as the happiest time in her life and the smell takes her back to these memories as a powerful tool for triggering them (see research folder).
All these practices are parts of adapting. They also enable maintaining cultural identity.
I also photographed Leonarda’s bedroom window because I’ve noted that it represents some important features. All around her environment there are glitters, shiny objects, things with flower ornaments, real and artificial flowers and images of small charming country houses. Leonarda likes sparkly things since she was young because she associated them with wealth and beauty. She she is fond of flowers because believes that beauty makes world and people better. And the images of country houses are romanticized versions of her childhood home.