Glasgow-based Durty Beanz are a collaborative performance project established in 2019. Their residency with Maltings, Berwick and Newcastle University’s Centre for Rural Economy and Institute for Creative Arts Practice, will explore food production and consumption.
Durty Beanz exists primarily on the social media platform Instagram (@Durty_Beanz) and was established to examine some of the more difficult questions that weren’t being asked of the online health and physical wellbeing industry, specifically to do with food, class and cultural identities.
Upon appointment to the residency, Durty Beanz said ‘We are extremely pleased to be relocating to Berwick-upon-Tweed and to be working with the Maltings and Newcastle University on this residency. When we first proposed the project, we asked ‘do farmers like Pot Noodles?’ Now it’s time to find out! ‘
Maltings and Newcastle University’s ongoing residency partnership aims to explore how artists and academics can collaborate to inform and develop new approaches to rural research. It also facilitates the exchange and sharing of knowledge between artists and researchers at Newcastle University to inform critical responses to the rural issues.
The current residency stems from recent research highlighting an increased interest in what we eat, yet at the same time, a growing disconnect from how food is produced and where it comes from. Both Brexit and Covid-19 have highlighted several issues to do with food, such as how resilient our food system is, and our broader relationships to it including how food is valued.
As the UK agricultural and food system continues to deal with change and uncertainty, questions surrounding the processes and people that grow, rear and ‘shape’ food into products for us, and how we as consumers choose what we do or do not eat, continue to be of importance.
Beth Clark, Research Associate and Public Engagement Officer at the Centre for Rural Economy said ‘Food is something we all engage with on a daily basis, but we don’t always have time to think about where it comes from or how it is made. Working with Durty Beanz will provide a brilliant opportunity to explore values surrounding food production and consumption in an engaging manner. I’m really excited to get started.’
James Lowther, Head of Visual Art at Maltings said ‘Maltings is delighted to welcome Durty Beanz to Berwick-upon-Tweed. I look forward to working with Durty Beanz to explore how our perceptions of food are influenced by producers, consumers and increasingly social media. I’m sure their use of social media and the playful and humorous nature of their work will enable a wide audience to engage with this very pertinent subject’
Durty Beanz were selected for the residency by an interview panel consisting of James Lowther – Head of Visual Arts, Maltings; Richard Talbot Director, Institute for Creative Arts Practice and Professor of Contemporary Drawing, Newcastle University; Beth Clark, Research Associate and Public Engagement Officer at the Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University and Laura Cresser, Relationship Manager, Combined Arts – Arts Council England.
Recent exhibitions and performances by Durty Beanz include: The Impossibility of Further Possibility; The Wrong Biennale. curated by Wendy Calmer. (2021); All Things Pass, Kunstverein Grafschaft Bentheim, Neuenhaus, DE – in coordination with Lars Karl Becker (2021); and Five British Canapes, Milieu Gallery, Bern, CH – in coordination with Othmar Farre (2020).