Thurs 12 Nov

Acess the Zoom webinar here.

An online discussion led by artist Laura Wilson that explores the political, economic and social impact of food industrialisation and cities on our health. With contributions from Laura Wilson, writers Jane Levi and Carolyn Steel, and artist and curator Jo Capper.

Bread and the City on
Thurs 26th Nov

Laura Wilson presents Shift (2020) a new audio work made using recordings during a bakeshift at Darvells baking a batch of Trained on Veda malted loaves mixed with an interview conducted by Jo Capper with artist Laura Wilson and Chef Irem Aksu about their collaboration for the 5th Istanbul Design Biennial - Empathy Revisited: Designs for More than One. Together they have collaborated on a dish inspired by veda bread and which brings together their respective heritages: Northern Irish and Turkish.

Bread and the City is a series of events led by artist Laura Wilson exploring the political, economic and social impact of food industrialisation and cities on our health. Presented across a webinar and RTM Radio it includes contributions from Laura Wilson, writers Jane Levi and Carolyn Steel, Chef Irem Aksu and artist and curator Jo Capper.

Bread and the City has evolved from Laura’s ongoing research project  Trained on Veda, a project that connects bakeries and galleries nationally and continues her interest into the social and cultural agency of materials. Trained on Veda was initiated during Wilson’s residency at Delfina Foundation in 2016, and is developed with TACO!, Site Gallery, Grand Union and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. Supported by Arts Council England.

As part of the project Laura has been working with Marc Darvell from Darvells, a family run bakery in Chesham to make a malted loaf inspired by this history. Trained on Veda aims to reintroduce veda bread to mainland UK again collaborating with a network of galleries & bakeries, enabling people to taste this historic bread and to generate discussion.

Veda bread is a dark brown malt loaf which was created in 1900, and became popular across the UK in the early part of the 20th Century and bakeries selling veda bread opened in most cities across the UK. It had a uniquely malted taste, which was easily digestible, full of vitamins and a long shelf-life (five to seven days) and due to its unique properties it was sent out to the soldiers in WW1 as it would reach the trenches fresh, and would keep them healthy. Today it is only made in Northern Ireland.

For further details about the project go to


Jo Capper is an artist educator and Collaborative Programme Curator, Grand Union . She is interested in the phenomenology of the making process and developing new structures for living. With a special interest in alternative creative educational practices, community building and the cultural specifics of human conviviality. She has initiated “The Growing Project" a city centre community led growing scheme in Birmingham which offers possibilities for new post industrial landscapes.  She was a founding member of Bearwood Pantry, a community led food activist group, and currently sits on the board member of the new Bearwood Community Hub.  She also co-directs Public Artist Limited a community interest company that is working to facilitate creative developments between community, commerce and culture.

Jane Levi is a writer, researcher, and co-founder of Edible Utopia, the artists' and growers’ co-operative urban farming project at Somerset House. Her research speciality is utopianism and food; with a focus on utopian visionaries through history, and space food. Her recent work includes the co-authored Food Politics & Society (University of California Press, 2018), an exhibition for the Foundling Museum ("Feeding the 400"), and chapters for Delfina Foundation’s Politics of Food (2019) and Bloomsbury’s The Cultural History of Plants (2019).

Carolyn Steel MA (Cantab) RIBA is a leading thinker on food and cities. A British architect, author and academic, she wrote the award-winning Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives (2008) and Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World (2020). Her concept of sitopia, or food-place (from the Greek sitos, food + topos, place) has gained broad recognition across a wide range of fields in design, ecology, academia and the arts. A director of Kilburn Nightingale Architects in London, Carolyn studied at Cambridge University and has since taught at Cambridge, London Metropolitan, Wageningen and Slow Food Universities and at the London School of Economics. In 2020-21, she will be a Research Fellow at Aeres University in the Netherlands. Carolyn is in international demand as a speaker and her 2009 TED talk has received more than one million views. In August 2020, she was featured in a special edition of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme.

Laura Wilson is interested in how history is carried and evolved through everyday materials, trades and craftsmanship. She works with specialists to develop sculptural and performative works that amplify the relationship between materiality, memory and tacit knowledge.

Wilson’s interdisciplinary and research-based works have been exhibited widely including at: 5th Istanbul Design Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey; The Collection, Lincoln with Mansions of the Future; Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery as part of New Geographies (2020); V&A, London, UK; Nicoletti Contemporary, London, UK; and Bloomsbury Theatre, London, UK (2019); The British Museum, London, UK with Block Universe; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, UK; and The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London, UK (2018); SPACE, London; Guest Projects, London; and Invisible Dust (2017); Delfina Foundation (2016 & 17) RIBA, London; and Site Gallery, Sheffield UK (2016); Whitstable Biennial (2014); Camden Arts Centre, London and Turner Contemporary, Margate (2013); W139, Amsterdam and De Warande, Turnhout, Belgium (2012). Wilson has been awarded the Jerwood New Work Fund and an A-N Bursary 2020 towards new projects in 2021.

Irem Aksu is a chef and researcher from Istanbul, based in London - where she founded her project Topik: food without borders, in 2015 whilst completing her MA in Cultural and Critical Studies at Birkbeck University of London. Irem’s cooking also focuses on ideas of sustainability, old cooking and preserving techniques as well as a new era of diversity in food cultures in Istanbul and beyond. Alongside Topik London, Irem carries on her daily professional kitchen routine in London based restaurants as a chef and menu development consultant. She co-produces and presents a radio programme, Open Kitchen: Interdisciplinary Food Talks fortnightly at Open Radio (Acik Radyo) - an independent and collective radio station operated from Istanbul, Turkey.

Marc Darvell is a baker and owner of a small family run bakery called Darvells operating in Chesham, Buckinghamshire for over 175 years. They have a shop on the High Street, and deliver their bread to hotels, schools, deli’s, cafes and pubs all over Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.


30 Poplar Place
SE28 8BA                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ︎      ︎       ︎       ︎