Mareware     Ceramics

Coastal Cuisines

Coastal Cuisines is a collaborative ceramic art project in Sunderland, exploring the intersection of diverse cultures and local food traditions with a strong emphasis on sustainability. Led by ceramicist Mary Watson participants engaged in immersive experiences, exploring marine ecology, food traditions, and heritage at various coastal locations.

Inspired by Sunderland Lusterware, the project aimed to weave together the relationships between communities and their coastlines across different time periods. The resulting tableware reflects the culmination of these experiences, featuring unique designs that tell the story of the community's journey.

The incorporation of QR codes add an interactive element to the tableware but also serves as a sustainable initiative, reducing the need for additional physical materials. By leveraging technology, the community's story is brought into the fabric of the ceramic work.

Coastal Cuisines serves as a model for combining artistic expression, cultural exploration, and environmental consciousness within a community context. By promoting sustainable practices and telling the story through multimedia elements, the project underscores the interconnectedness of communities, their coastlines, and the importance of eco-conscious approaches in shaping our collective future.

The Coastal Communities community group is made up of members from ICOS (International Community Organisation of Sunderland), FODI (a drop-in service for refugees and asylum seekers), City of Sanctuary, Back on the Map (a community space in Hendon) and Sangini (a wellbeing support group for Bangladeshi women).

Coastal Cuisine, podcast

Myself, project manager Suzy O’Hara, food researcher Suzanne Hocknall and Fanni Ngambi talk about working with the project participants, the community that grew around this work and our journey of discovery! From marine ecologies, coastal heritage to ceramic tableware.

This podcast was created by Lotte Steele.

We want to thank all the wonderful participants who took part in this project and our partners FODI, ICOS, City of Sanctuary, Back on the Map, Sangini, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and Life Kitchen.

Coastal Cuisine was commissioned by SeaScapes Co/Lab, (University of Sunderland) working in collaboration with Foodscapes (Newcastle University), National Trust and National Glass Centre. The project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and forms part of SeaScapes: From Tyne to Tees, shores and seas.

Cooking Sessions at Life Kitchen 

Audio and editing curtesy of Lotte Steele 

Project Celebration

Photography curtesy of Colin Davidson 

Families Tableware Production Workshop 

Photography courtesy of Colin Davidson

Trip to Sunderland Marina Wild Oyster Project.

Photography courtesy of Colin Davidson.

A Small Selection of Participant Drawings from Across the Project

Photography cutresy Mary Watson