Does food/food production/social and cultural constructs around food, play a role in this work (since it factors so heavily in much of your other work)? If so, how?
Yes, mostly because food (growing, cooking, preserving) is such an important thread of my everyday life. A wide range of ingredients are always close at hand. Food is also super sensual as sculptural material. Scented, flavorful, cultural, social, political, vital for survival, it's charged in every way imaginable.
Can you share some thoughts about your approach to your art practice and how living mindfully plays into that? I strive to live and make art lightly, simply and in the moment. Natural materials are ephemeral, biodegradable, seasonal and sometimes edible. Recycled materials can be made to live many lives beyond their original purpose given enough creativity and ingenuity to make that so. All of this work requires me to tune in and look deeply into what is right in front of me, then re-imagine.
Leah Gauthier (b. 1963, Chicago, IL) is an intermedia artist who lives and works in Brunswick, Maine. Her work explores food--growing, eating, cooking, preserving, scent and memory, food as sculptural material, history of food and agriculture, revival and protection of endangered food plants, urban agriculture, sustainable and transitional growing, food as cultural identity and as an agent of social change.
Leah's art has been exhibited in traditional and unconventional spaces including Eyebeam in New York City; Decordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts; The Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine; SoFA Gallery at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana; Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine; the National Heirloom Exhibition in Sonoma, California; GASP Gallery in Brookline, Massachusetts; 808 Gallery at Boston, University and 0.00156 Acre Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.
She has been an artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony, Eyebeam and The Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughn, Ireland, and has received grants and awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and others.
Leah received her M.F.A. From the School of the Museum of Fine Art Boston and Tufts University, and her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has taught at Butler University, Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Art Indiana University Bloomington, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Tufts University and Chester College of New England. She is a founding member of ||| Art curatorial collective.
If you're also interested in Food+Art, join us on July 22 in Brooklyn! Tickets here.