Mexican Artists in the UK with the First Food Residency
On September 3rd 2016, five Mexican artists in the UK with the First Food Residency (FFR) will be hosting a public open day at the Institute of Education in Reading (IOE). The FFR exhibition at IOE will include contributions, collaborations and performances from this years artists, as well as previous First Food residents. The theme of all work has a focus on food, within a historic and contemporary cultural environment. Work ranges from microscopic studies of the flesh of an apple, to a participatory performance reflecting on childhood and chocolate.
Debates around food sustainability are taking a grip alongside climate change, and educational institutions are starting to include relevant studies in the curriculum. This is an opportune moment to take a creative look at our food, where it started and what it is now, in shape, form, influence and how it fits into our lives, at a real and symbolic level.
First Food residents come from a variety of backgrounds, disciplines and levels of experience. This creates a platform for inter-disciplinary activity and artistic growth. This year the residency is officially hosted by MERL (The Museum of English Rural Life) as part of Reading University.
FFR community outreach is now engaging local community groups, including the Royal Berkshire Hospital Cancer unit while developing a bespoke programme of events in September around the harvest of a bed of edible Amaranth (commonly known in the UK as ‘Love Lies Bleeding’) which artist, Antonia Bruce, has grown in the Museum garden.
This years artists were selected through an open call, to produce work over a seven week period in response to the subject of ‘Food in the UK.’ Three of the artists responded through the University of Oaxaca (UABJO), and have been working in Reading, using the facilities at the IOE and MERL (The Museum of English Rural Life). The artists from
Oaxaca include painter, Max Ortiz Mejia and printmaker, Yoshi Dominguez, both graduates Susana Cuevas comes from a background in science. Susanna has been working with photography and microscopy to produce a visual outcome for the show.
Two further artists, Chucho Caza and Victor Nicolas, have been accommodated through FFR at Chelsea College of Art, working in the Chelsea and Wimbledon studios. Victor is a painter, exploring British folklore through the theme of barley. Chucho, a photographer, has been documenting the cosmopolitan hubbub of London food culture.
FFR are working to develop a creative dialogue, not only between the UK and Mexico, but between different disciplines, reaching new audiences through scientific as well as artistic engagement.
The Institute of Education
4 Redlands Road
RG1 5AQ Reading
Private View: 1 September 18.00 – 20.00
Public Open day: 3 September from midday