Edible Utopia: Artist Talk and Tour

Wed 18 Apr 2018
19.00 - 20.30
Pay What You Can

The work of artists is valuable and our events cost money to produce, but we also want them to be as accessible as possible. Therefore, we offer you the opportunity to pay what you can for this event.

Screening Room
South Wing

An evening talk by the artists behind Edible Utopia exploring the origins and ethos of the project.

Edible Utopia begins with the cultivation of mushrooms in the building’s historic coalholes and the growing of rhubarb on the roof of the old HMRC conference centre. Join us for a Spring time look at the programme ahead and some of the stories behind the foods.  

Edible Utopia Ltd, the team behind the project is composed of artists Clare Patey, Jane Levi, Tim Mitchell, Sophie Mason and resident mycologist Darren Springer, formed during Somerset House’s 2016 Utopia Season their objectives are to reimagine our food systems through positive engagement with growing, cooking, eating and collaboration.

This evening will see the artists discuss their personal interests in food as a medium and discuss previous and future projects. The talk will be followed by the first public tour of our current growing spaces including the mushroom cultivation in the coal holes of the building.


Clare Patey is an artist, curator and director of the Empathy Museum. Alongside Edible Utopia Clare has worked on large scale food related public projects such as the annual Feast on the Bridge for the Thames Festival, Feast on the street in Arizona , Feast, for the London International Festival of Theatre, Southbanquet at the Southbank Centre and Crayfish Bob’s pop-up Invasive Species Café for the Two Degrees Festival.

Tim Mitchell is an artist and food grower working on issues around sustainability and waste. He will bring his expertise on food growing, ecology and recycling to the project.

Jane Levi is a writer and food historian particularly interested in food in the context of space travel and utopia. Her work exploring food is published on her website Silphium Food named after a medicinal, extinct plant, her writing has also been published by GQ, Oxford University Press and a host of others.

Sophie Mason is an artist and gardener currently working between London and Barcelona interested in the origins, stories and myths behind plants and food.  

Darren Springer, Edible Utopia's resident mycologist has been working with young people on a variety of growing projects through his work at Organiclea . For Edible Utopia at Somerset House he will lead the mushroom cultivation and accompanying workshops.