Tabulatopia at Château de la Borie

By invitation of Château de la Borie / Galerie d’Art Contemporain. June 2020. Tabulatopia Collective (Jonmar van Vlijmen and Ronald Boer (together De Onkruidenier), Céline Pelcé and myself).

Tabulatopia was invited for a weeklong residency late June 2020 in order to explore the four different gardens of Château de la Borie. La Borie’s gardens consist of the traditional jardin à la française, a jardin en mouvement to the philosophy of Gilles Clément, a permaculture garden and a forest garden currently undergoing a rewilding process. The results of our research and findings of our residency were shared during two edible exploration walks and a workshop.

During our stay we have focused on the hyper local and have prepared little tasters found in 2m² across the four different gardens. These hyper local tasters were shared during edible exploration walks with visitors. Some elements we have worked with were; dried clovers to become part of a tempura, toasted dandelion root as a slightly bittersweet garnish, fern tops served sautéed as base for a canapé and sticky weed seeds as a coffee-like dust to garnish another little edible garden taster. The plant narratives, the local experiences and recipes we produced during this week will become a small publication.

Kleureyck Exhibition, Design Museum Gent (BE)

Re-table(au), performative installation, Design Museum Gent (BE) 2020

2020 was the year Ghent and Flanders were honouring the Flemish painter ‘Jan van Eyck’ and I was pleased to be invited by The Design Museum in Ghent to create content for two experience rooms for their large scale exhibition named ‘Kleureyck’. In collaboration with the Jan van Eyck academie’s Food Lab, I assembled a fantastic team of artists to develop a concept deeply rooted in the colourful landscapes of the ‘Ghent Altarpiece’ by Jan van Eyck. His unique use of colour was the genesis of our explorations as Céline Pelcé, De Onkruidenier (Jonmar van Vlijmen and Ronald Boer) and myself set about devising a new piece which we named ‘Re-table(au)’.

The realistically depicted scene in this particular painting is an imaginary one, where locations and seasons are innovatively blended. This concept of imagined reality provoked thoughts amongst us relative to our current global food system in which the fiction of van Eyck’s depiction of exotic produce is now very much a non-fictitious reality where almost all edible produce (at least from the Ghent Alterpiece) is possible to source all year round regardless of its natural season.

Re-Table(au) is an endlessly evolving foodscape reminiscent of seasonality; where both established and fledgling exploration/preservation techniques and poetic rituals are presented in a tangible way. Activation moments occur throughout the exhibition in which the evolving tableau is shared physically and internally through a ritualistic experience of colour and flavour in a multi sensory environment including edible objects and other concoctions allowing you to literally digest the landscape.

Photos © Design Museum Gent, Filip Dujardin