We are pleased to announce a new partnership between Cove Park, CCA Glasgow, and the Food Lab of the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht. The first project created through this partnership to take place in Scotland is a residency at Cove Park and CCA Glasgow for the Amsterdam-based artist Suzanne Bernhardt.

Established in 2018, The Food Lab at Jan Van Eyck Academie was created to offer a multidisciplinary platform to chefs and artists with an interest in food. Its primary function is to enable these individuals to collaborate and explore new techniques, sciences, sensory and artistic interpretations, and responses so that they may delve deeper into the topic of food as a global phenomenon. Food has a unique position as a point of intersection for culture, identity, politics, physical and mental health, terroir, community, individuality and poetry. It exists in spaces of contradiction and duality, at times intensely polarizing. It functions both as an artistic expression and as a bare necessity.

Representing a hub where experiment, encounter, cooking, and tasting come together, the Food Lab acts as a research platform that enables artists and designers to experiment, develop, and nurture their food focused projects on both theoretical and practical levels. The Food Lab not only facilitates experimentation and artistic endeavour, but also acutely observes the bigger picture of food consumption and production. The topics of interest revolve around food security and sustainable agriculture; food in relation to a community, culture, or country; links between food and eco-social issues; food and (geo-) politics; the nutritional value of different food sources; as well as sustainable and slow farming.

This partnership was established during a research residency at Cove Park in 2021 for culinary artist and chef Marente van der Valk. Marente coordinates the Food Lab and programmes its annual Food Art Film Festival (FAFF), a cross-disciplinary festival collaboratively initiated and organised by Jan van Eyck’s Food Lab and its Nature Research Department (NRD), coordinated by Giulia Bellinetti. NRD activity complements that of Food Lab, by aiming to nurture mutually beneficial relations between the arts, design, and the eco-system, and to encourage the development of ecologically conscious artistic practices.

FAFF aims to shine a light on various complexities of ecology and brings attention to the bond between (non)human bodies, and the connection between food and communities. Since its launch in confirm date, international as well as local network of farmers, beekeepers, chefs and scientists, alongside artists, designers and architects, have been brought together to demonstrate how creativity can help shape more sustainable (food) futures. By bringing together food, art and film, the festival aims to help us rethink and review our perspectives on how we relate to food, and how food relates to the landscape, plants, animals, our health and well-being.

The 2022 edition of FAFF, ‘Reclaiming Taste’, took place in Maastricht in September and the programme included a dinner created by Cove Park resident, artist and culinary designer Rudy Kanhye. Future presentations of FAFF will take place at CCA Glasgow and further details on this project will be announced soon.

This programme is generously supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the UK and Mondriaan Funds.