The Nurture Salon
Hosted for residency in Folkestone, 2023

The Nurture Salon - Maja Renn & Piotr Matkowski

Emerging artists: Maja Renn and Piotr Matkowski* (Poland)
Emerging curator: Jacob Bray


Artists Maja Renn and Piotr Matkowski present ‘Nurture Salon’. A collaboration of food and performance with a focus on the community of local residents around Urban Room Folkestone. Presented as part of a wider programme of events for Festival of Looking 2023.

The resonance of Nurture Salon lingers, a transformative experience that unfolded in the heart of Folkestone. Across two memorable weekends, from July 15 to 16 and July 22 to 23, between 11 am and 3 pm, Maja Renn and Piotr Matkowski orchestrated a culinary masterpiece within the vibrant community around Urban Room Folkestone, enriching the Festival of Looking 2023.

Nurture Salon went beyond the conventional boundaries of art and gastronomy, offering participants a unique multi-sensory exploration that transcended the ordinary. Artists Maja Renn and Piotr Matkowski, deeply immersed in the local community, created a transformative journey by connecting with residents and uncovering the distinctive ingredients that define the region.

This pop-up salon was not a static exhibition but a living, breathing encounter where art and food converged, fostering a meaningful dialogue about sustainability and community. Participants became active contributors to a dynamic narrative, adding their unique perspectives to the evolving tapestry of the Nurture Salon.

The one-to-one engagements with participants allowed individuals to embark on a transformative journey, engaging the senses of taste, touch, and human connection. Attendees became an integral part of the Nurture Salon, shaping the narrative and contributing to the collaborative spirit that defined the experience.

Maja Renn and Piotr Matkowski’s meticulous curation of this immersive journey drew inspiration from the rich local context. Their engagement with Folkestone’s community went beyond a superficial exploration; it was a profound connection with the people, their stories, and the unique flavours that define the region. The artists undertook a journey into the culinary heart of Folkestone, uncovering not just ingredients but the essence of the community itself.

As the pop-up salon unfolded, participants found themselves entwined in a multi-sensory tapestry that went beyond the mere consumption of food. The artists’ emphasis on sustainability, community, and the intersection of art and daily life transformed “Nurture Salon” into an experience that resonated with the soul.

The intimate engagements allowed participants to explore the utopia of a sustainable culinary relationship, where every taste, every touch, became a connection to the essence of Folkestone. The Nurture Salon was a celebration of the local community’s resilience, diversity, and unique identity – a reflection of Folkestone’s past, present, and future.

Amidst the artistic and culinary exploration, the participatory nature of the event became a hallmark of its success. Attendees weren’t passive observers; they were active contributors, shaping the evolving narrative of the Nurture Salon. The artists’ commitment to fostering community engagement turned this pop-up experience into a collaborative endeavour that echoed the essence of Folkestone’s collective spirit.

One of the captivating aspects of the Nurture Salon was the invitation for participants to share recipes inspired by their encounters during the event. This culinary exchange transformed into a celebration of diverse tastes, local ingredients, and the rich culinary heritage of Folkestone.

For those fortunate enough to be part of this collaboration, the Nurture Salon was a feast for the senses, a catalyst for meaningful conversations, and an exploration of the unique flavours that define the community of Folkestone. The event became an extraordinary journey into the heart of Folkestone’s culinary landscape, where every taste and every story contributed a new layer to the tapestry of shared experiences. As the echoes of the Nurture Salon linger, they resonate as a testament to the power of art, food, and community coming together in harmony.


Curatorial text by Jacob Bray