Through their work, Narture aims to showcase the talents of local artists and artisans, promoting their work and supporting their livelihoods. By intertwining food and arts, the collective intends to create unique experiences that engage both the senses and the community, attracting visitors and fostering cultural tourism in the process.
Can you start by introducing yourselves and telling us about Narture.
Narture Community Interest Company is an artist collective formed in 2020 by myself, Robert Singer, and daughter Saskia Singer. We are both graduate artists committed to the regeneration of the historical area of Ayr town centre as a Cultural Quarter, through food and arts.
Our objective is to generate creative employment and sustainable income sources with a unique vision straddling the boundaries of gastronomy, arts, and commerce. To form a new creative economy promoted by artisan producers, crafters and multidisciplinary artists, to establish vibrant, dynamic environments encouraging experiential retail and cultural tourism.
What are your backgrounds and what has led you to running this unique business?
There are three principle attributes to my professional career – catering, wellbeing and art. Art has been my passion since I was a child, but it took until my mid-forties to realise my aspiration of a place at Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 2001. I initially trained as a chef/baker then worked through to city centre concepts development manager for a national catering company. Working long hours in the catering industry led to burnout and I turned to natural health practices re-training as a yoga teacher and wellbeing therapist, before gaining a place at GSA.
Saskia graduated from Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 2019, whilst always working in hospitality to sustain herself whilst studying and upon leaving University. Collaboration is integral to Saskia’s socially engaged practice, initiating a project called Dain Hing’s whilst at DJCAD, hosting a number of exhibitions, workshops, residencies and events, bringing people together ‘tae dae hings’. During lockdown in 2020, Robert and Saskia set up Narture CIC fusing their combined knowledge and passion of food and art through a number of experimental projects at home whilst being stuck at home during the pandemic. This playful exploration developed into the bakery and café over the past 3 years, along side running pop up exhibitions in various empty shops in Ayr town centre.
Can you tell us a bit about the bread making process, and your favourite part?
Bread and dough are metaphors for income generation, bread is the original food made that could neither be foraged not hunted. Our products are naturally fermented sourdough, baked for taste and the health of the gut.
Your tagline is ‘Nurturing the arts, respecting nature’. Firstly can you tell us about some of the incredible projects you’ve been able to run through Narture?
Narture is a word play of nurture, nature and art, which evolved out of series of pop up events of taking over empty spaces and activating them with cultural activities that can be viewed on our website as past projects.
Our objective is to create sustainable income sources to support a collective of artisan producers, crafters and multidisciplinary artists, to establish vibrant, dynamic environments promoting experiential retail and cultural tourism.
Your next project on the horizon is Peoples Art School, what can we expect to see from this?
The Peoples Art School is a context particular project that aims to bridge the gap between graduation and professional practice where artist across disiples and genres can make creativity accessible to all members of society. In different spaces that provides studios, exhitibitions, events, print studio and darkroom with cafe/deli facilities to nourish the body as well as the mind, the project is currently under development- watch this space!
INTERVIEW BY Eryn Inglis
IMAGES BY Simon Hird