Custom Food Lab is a food and art organisation led by food activists, artists, researchers and community-makers. We are committed to exploring the entangled web of care and support that feeds into the systems of life that in turn feed the planet.
Through our work with artists, academics, scientists, environmentalists and activists, we redefine the terms of institutional imaginaries, creating and commissioning work that addresses the strategies we need for survival beyond times of virus and climate change and into the realities of a new green deal or post climate collapse social orders. We engage communities creatively with food systems, making opportunities for creative change and transformation.
Working mainly from Folkestone, Kent, we began in 2018 as Custom Folkestone C.I.C., a restaurant, garden and art space. Find out about Custom Folkestone here.
Who We Are
ASSOCIATED ARTISTS AND PROJECTS
Rubiane Maia, artist
Marta Fernandez Calvo, artist
Cosmic Constructions, ecologically sustainable building and design.
Kent Food Hubs Folkestone
THE CUSTOM BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Custom Food Lab is guided by a team of directors brought together by a shared trust that only through radical and multiplicitous strategies for occupying food systems can we make transformative change within those systems. We continuously draw on both the overlapping and individual skills and knowledge sets of the directors and other people we work with to make Custom Food Lab a fluid, adaptable and responsive organisation.
Cherry Truluck – Creative Director
Cherry is founder and Creative Director of Custom Food Lab. Following a 15 year career in live art, theatre and architectural design, by 2015 her work had taken her in a culinary direction, exploring conviviality and commensality through socially engaged food/art projects. She is driven by a conviction that localised food production and food knowledge are intrinsically linked to a better future for us an the environment and her previous work with East Cliff Kitchen explored how artists could intervene in food systems to generate positive outcomes for their community. Custom Folkestone C.I.C. was conceived to further that mission.
Madeleine Collie – Curatorial Director
Madeleine is an artist and curator. She has guided Custom’s art programming from the start, curated 2019 festival “Something Held in the Mouth” and is leading our 2020 research programme. From 2016-2019 she was curator of the award winning collective memorial project: The Ash Project, an urgent cultural response to the loss of the Ash tree from the Kent landscape. She is is a current PhD candidate in the Curatorial Practices programme at Monash University, MADA, where she has a three year scholarship for her project centred on artist led new institutional forms.
Kate Hickey – Director
Kate is a passionate activist for environmental and social justice. She is an active and caring member of the Folkestone community, as well as an enthusiastic vegetable gardener. Kate is Communications Manager for the Kent Downs AONB, so with this expertise and insight, she also guides Custom’s communications and marketing, keeping us responsible and honest.
Dr Meredith Wiggins – Director
Meredith is a researcher and analyst, passionate about climate change adaptation and the power that knowledge of the past can give us to create a more just, sustainable future. Her deep understanding of the intricate connections between government policy, cultural activity and environmental crisis are vital to the way we make decisions as an organisation. Meredith is currently based in Washington DC, where she is an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow.
Zoe Tallon – Director
Award-winning architect and design consultant, Zoe is our newest board member. As we delve deeper into issues of food security and land use, Zoe’s knowledge of the built environment is going to be crucial to our thinking. Based in London, she is also a well-travelled foodie with a wide knowledge of international food cultures, and regular volunteer on community arts projects such as the Peckham Film Festival.