Since its inauguration in June 2019, Gaia Art Foundation has supported the CLIMAVORE Apprenticeship programme in the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Initiated by Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe) in 2015, CLIMAVORE explores alternative ways to eat in an era of human-induced environmental transformations. The project on the Isle of Skye, CLIMAVORE: On Tidal Zones centres around an oyster table installed on the intertidal zone at Bayfield. Each day at high tide, the installation works as an underwater oyster table inhabited by filter feeder bivalves and seaweeds that clean the water as they grow. At low tide, it emerges above the sea and functions as a table for humans.
In collaboration with restaurants across the island, Cooking Sections have been working to promote more responsive aqua-cultures and develop long-term consumable strategies for the area. Since November 2018, students at Portree High School have trained to become CLIMAVORE Cooks, working alongside local chefs, foragers and scallop divers to study the aqua-cultures along the tidal zones of Skye and the food practices that can support them. In 2019, three graduates of the course were awarded a CLIMAVORE Apprenticeship in various restaurants across the island. Working in their respective kitchen teams, the CLIMAVORE Apprentices will develop, prepare and serve a CLIMAVORE menu to support alternative aqua-cultures that will promote cleaner use of the tidal zone.
Discover a CLIMAVORE inspired scallops dish in the video here:
Coastal environments have provided materials useful for the construction of roads, foundations, floors, walls and roofs for millennia. In regions as removed as Guangzhou, the Isle of Skye, and Taipei, the shells of molluscs have been used in buildings to help regulate internal temperature and humidity. Whether whole, crushed into aggregate, or burned into lime mortar, the natural cement production of shells and their utility in the built environment proves that food ingredients and construction materials are not as separate as they may first appear.
CLIMAVORE has partnered with West Highland College for their Construction Skills Course. The new programme encourages students to think about building methods that use waste byproducts and local materials of intertidal origin.
Learning from historic applications and techniques, workshops on the manufacture and use of tabby concrete, seaweed thatching and insulation, or shell composites, the programme investigates how they could be incorporated in contemporary construction with novel approaches. Ultimately, students explore a range of sometimes overlooked materials and the potential to upcycle and extend their lifespan, while reducing the ecological impact of the built environment.