FOOD IN THE FRAME: Mexican Artists in “First Food Residency” at the Institute of Education

appleOn 3rd September 2016, five Mexican artists staged an intriguing food-related art exhibition at the University of Reading’s London Road campus. The works offered tastes from a though-provoking menu that included performance art with a chocolate-flavour, a slightly sinister jam study, a Food Glorious Food-style freezeframe and a neon-bright apple dissection.

The artists, in the UK with the First Food Residency (FFR), aim to shine a light on food’s historic, contemporary and cultural contexts. At this unusual exhibition one could spy a microscopic study of the flesh of an apple, an intense palette of pieces of bread and jam, somehow slightly sinister in their variety, or a participatory performance reflecting on childhood and chocolate – something we can all relate to. Anna Bruce of FFR said: “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.” 

ARTWORK Chucho Caza, LucilleFIRST FOOD is an artist-led non-profit that aims to open up the debate about food through art. Artists are drawn from a rich variety of backgrounds, disciplines and levels of experience. This eclecticism blows fresh air into the creative process and ensures a novel examination of food and where it comes from: a subject the world once forgot but is now increasingly obsessing about.

The artists, who all answered an open call, included painter Max Ortiz Mejia, printmaker Yoshi Dominguez and scientist Susana Cuevas. Susanna has created visual effects through photography and microscopy, while two further artists, Chucho Caza and Victor Nicolas have focused on Britain’s food culture: Victor by exploring British folklore through the theme of barley and Chuchoby, at the other end of the scale, documenting the cosmopolitan hubbub of London’s contemporary food culture.


Karen Goulding leaves The Learning Hub after 5 wonderful years of creating the “jewel in our crown”..

Karen Goulding is leaving the IoE and the The Learning Hub after five wonderful years of nurturing students and staff alike and creating what has become the “jewel in our crown”. A constant refrain among those first entering The Hub is just one word – “Wow!”

Karen and friend busy at The Learning Hub
Karen and friend busy at The Learning Hub

So many memories: the guide dog sessions
 guide dog 3

Meeting “Father of the Internet” Dr Vinton G Cerf

Vint Cerf at the Learning Hub
Vint Cerf at the Learning Hub

discoveries of long lost treasures

the rampaging dragons situation
don't you dare, dragon

…..among many, many more colourful, inspiring and enticing events that Karen has brought to the Hub.

Dr Margaret Perkins, Director, Primary School Direct at the IOE said of Karen:teddy robber

“Karen came to Reading charged with the task of running what was then called the resources centre and amalgamating it with the Reading Centre. That was no mean feat and the result is the marvellous place we have called the Learning Hub. The Learning Hub is the jewel in our crown and is the envy of many colleagues from other institutions. It is a drawing point for students and teachers alike.

“The change in name is, I think, indicative of why the Learning Hub is at the heart of our campus – both in location and in philosophy and practice. I have heard many people come into the Learning Hub and just say ‘Wow!’ I can understand why and that is down to Karen.

Raymond Wilson boy reading
Raymond Wilson boy reading

“Her skill is making learning attractive, relevant, exciting and vibrant. She shows our students how to manage learning using resources effectively and connectedly. Her tweets have made the Learning Hub and Reading known widely and give Reading a strong voice within the community of practice and the wider world.

“I have never known Karen say No. it has been a joy to work with her on sessions, to plan and talk with her about resources and just to chat about what the students are doing. We understand completely why Karen is going – it seems entirely reasonable to want to live in the same country as your husband – but we are going to miss her so much. She has changed a resource centre into a hub of learning and long may it continue.

“Karen, you leave a powerful legacy and difficult shoes to fill. We wish you every happiness and success – continue to tweet and keep in touch!” Child-reading-a-magical-book-web-620x350

Words we all echo……..