PERCHED ON A BABY SEAT at the back of an extra-long “ute” bicycle, Woody Ulman Jones scans the roadside greenery for edible treats. Up ahead, he sees a wild loquat tree and shouts, “More, more, more!” His mother Meg Ulman slowly applies the brakes, and the bike comes to a stop. It’s snack time.
Although only eighteen months old, Woody is already playing a role in putting food on the table. “Woody is an amazing forager,” says Meg. “While we’re pedalling with our heads down, he’s our chief spotter.”
Woody is the most recent addition to Artist as Family, a five-mammal artistic troupe that includes the primate hunter-gardeners Patrick Jones and Meg Ulman, their young cubs Zephyr and Woody, and their trusty canine companion Zero the Jack Russell. Since November 2013 this motley crew has pedalled and picnicked their way up Australia’s east coast, riding more than 2000 kilometres from their home in Daylesford, Victoria, to northern New South Wales, gathering material for a new book called Free Food.