Skills Biennale 2014

SSW is delighted to be part of an initiative by five of the leading regional arts organisations that celebrates the skills of the North East, with the theme for this event being Food and Sustainability.

Joined by Deveron Arts, Gray’s School of Art at RGU, Woodend Barn and sound Festival, each organisation has formed a collaboration between an international artist and local food producer/organisation;

Gray’s School of Art Ceila Gonzalez and Community Food Initiatives North East, looking at food security
sound festival Stephen Montague and BrewDog, looking at the sounds of a brewery
Deveron Arts Gayle Chong Kwan looking at issues of waste with Deans, shortbread makers
Scottish Scupture Workshop Stephen Brandes (Domestic Godless) and Alford Oats, a local mill
Woodend Barn Tom Prichard and  Cambus O May Cheese Company, looking specifically at the senses

We welcomed Stephen to the North East in June, during which time he met with Ritchie Duncan at Alford Oats. Since their initial meetings they have been hard at work on their collaboration, The Montgarrie Mobile Meal Mill & Porridge Bar.

Ritchie Duncan has been an artisanal oat miller employing methods and machinery that date back to the 1880’s, while Stephen Brandes, a visual artist and founding member of The Domestic Godless, seeks to confound our everyday relationship to food with irreverent attitude towards its presentation and consumption.

Oatmeal and porridge have an iconic status within the dietary landscape of the British Isles. Both nutritious and versatile it is synonymous with both healthiness and austerity. Colloquially, ‘porridge’ is another name for a prison

Over the past two months, between Aberdeenshire and Cork, both artisan and artist have been developing ideas which will culminate in two-weeks of collaboration in late August, creating a mobile unit that will mill and present a range of unconventional oatmeal inventions for the public to sample.


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