Artists’ Tuck Shop is a vehicle for supporting fellow food-loving artists based in the UK by Glasgow based artist and curator David McDiarmid.
We sell specially commissioned and sourced artist-made products and homewares with a special food focus!
Artists receive 70% from sales of their products with 30% retained to cover our running costs. Any surplus we have is put towards commissioning local artists to add to our exclusive range of special art editions.
We fundraise for these commissions through other means too including:
- Sales of Make Bake Cook Book - our self-published cookbook featuring recipes by artists of course!
- Any profits made from our pop-up events programme including artist-run restaurant nights, pop up design stores, exhibitions and more!
- Donations from generous patrons on our Patreon
You can also shop from us in person when we pop up at various craft markets across the country. Sign up to our newsletter if you would like to receive updates about our upcoming markets and events:
If you're an artist interested in stocking your food-themed work with us then click below:
Why the food-focus?
Artists’ Tuck Shop was launched as an initiative to encourage UK-based artists’ dual interests in food and art.
While for some artists food and cooking is just a hobby, for a growing number it directly feeds into what they do or make, emerging almost as a distinct discipline demanding almost as much focus towards research and development as their art. An increasing number of artists have also gone on to launch highly successful food-related businesses, a testament to how these parallel practices can help artists navigate what is normally a highly precarious creative career.
With ongoing cuts being made to arts organisations and artists struggling to juggle their creative careers with jobs in other sectors, we explore different ways to combine food and art, to benefit artists.
Countless art projects have emerged in recent years with food at their heart.
Internationally renowned artist Olafur Eliasson’s studio houses a dedicated kitchen to feed around a hundred studio team members. Though it started life as a small communal space for about 15 studio members to cook for each other, the kitchen has emerged into a fully-fledged artistic project in of itself known as SOE Kitchen. In recent years, SOE Kitchen has branched out to releasing a cookbook, The Kitchen, first published in 2013, and in 2019 undertaken a kitchen residency of the Terrace Bar within the Tate Modern, to coincide with Eliasson’s exhibition In Real Life.
Brussels-based Swiss artist Nicholas Party is another with a practice heavily rooted in food, an example being his 2017 commission Café Party, for which he transformed the restaurant building in Jupiter Artland with decorative wall paintings, custom furniture and serveware, hand-painted tables and crockery. But this wasn’t the first time Party had paired painting with food. In both Dinner for 24 Elephants at the Modern Institute (2011) and Dinner for 24 Dogs at Salon 94 (2012), he organised dinner parties as exhibitions. In a similar vein to Café Party, he designed the furniture, tableware and décor, with guests being served a seven-course meal of individual items including a single sausage with mustard on a plate.
And you don’t need to look too hard to find yet more recent examples out in the wild that echo the innovation of Eliasson and Party, blending the boundaries between food and art. These include Narture, an experimental bakery/kitchen in Ayr, The Domestic Godless, a Cork-based artist collective and Deveron Projects, an arts organisation based in the small market village of Huntly.
Narture explore the notions of food as art and art as food, raising the ‘dough’ from sales of real bread baked freshly on the premises, in order to fund art projects in their gallery space.
Founded by artists Stephen Brande, Mick O’Shea and Irene Murphy, The Domestic Godless produce recipes, installations and public presentations with food being used as both a concept and a medium through which to explore artistic irrerevance.
Deveron Projects are a community-minded arts organisation, producing projects that connect artists, communities and places. One example is their partnership last year with Scots-Iraqi artist-chef Kawther Luay to initiate a local hospitality project called Neep & Okra Kitchen. This aimed to regenerate the local area by offering locals a place to explore new tastes, exchange ideas and develop new friendships and connections, with food as the vehicle.
In terms of publishing, Issue 205 of Frieze Magazine, otherwise known as The Food Issue, released in 2019, set out to explore the role of food in contemporary culture with considerations towards the human and environmental implications of its supply and cultivation. The issue included a mix of specially commissioned texts, recipes and contributions from a broad range of artists and writers around the world.
On a more local level, Artists’ Cookbook by Rudy Kanhye, which was released in 2017 and compiled from artists’ contributions, aims to explore cultural contexts and rituals surrounding cooking and eating.
The projects listed above form only a small selection of recent examples of artist-centred food projects, however, once you scratch beneath the surface, you soon begin to uncover a wealth of exciting food-based art projects in existence around the world!
But what’s the inherent correlation between artists and food? There’s certainly an argument to be made that this could be explained by the ubiquity of the hospitality industry as a second career for many artists, but we think there’s more to it than that. The best chefs are devoted to their craft, constantly tinkering away with different flavour combinations, cooking techniques and plating methods, and they embrace failure as a process of learning. They also display a generosity and willingness to share their knowledge and interests through their work, engage with the public, collaborate with their peers and deliver public presentations and workshops. You don't need much imagination to realise how these methods and practices are analogous to an artist’s practice.
More About David McDiarmid
David McDiarmid works across the fields of art, curation and fabrication.
Born in Paisley, he grew up in Ayr and studied Painting at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen 2009-2013 before completing an MLitt in Curatorial Practice between Glasgow School of Art and University of Glasgow 2018-2019.
As an artist David produces handmade artworks and gift ideas for fellow food lovers and cooking enthusiasts! He is also a keen cook with a library of food history books and has previously worked as an Assistant General Manager at a popular Mexican restaurant in Glasgow.