The Seaweed Institute is a Community Interest Company run by the interdisciplinary duo Kerry Holbrook and Ruth Klückers on the south coast of Cornwall. The project connects people, seaweed and the intertidal space.
Both have spent the last five years working as seaweed harvesters on the Lizard Peninsula for the Cornish Seaweed Company.
Whilst there is lots of promise in the idea of seaweed as a resource - for most people it remains only an idea.
There is a rich cultural history of seaweed in the UK but it has been mostly lost. The project aims to be part of rediscovering seaweed and reestablishing a unique culture in Cornwall.
The Seaweed Institute is collecting research on the social history of seaweed by visiting archives and collecting stories.
Kerry studied Biological Science at the University of Bristol and enjoyed studying the ecology of food systems. Her final project explored techniques of farming seaweed.
She has got a background in outdoor education and now enjoys creatively exploring the coastal ecology, landscape and culture.
Ruth graduated from the Man and Food Department at the Design Academy Eindhoven, NL, where she won the 'Kick That Ass Award' by Designer Maarten Baas for her project 'A Drive For Seaweed’ In this project Ruth lived in her custom build seaweed truck and traveled through Europe to learn about seaweed culture. As part of her studies in the Netherlands she did an internship with the Cornish Seaweed Company where she learnt about sustainable seaweed harvesting methods which became a central subject in her work.
Together the two have co-founded The Seaweed Institute while sharing a passion for food and community.
Kerry and Ruth are inspired by the intertidal ecosystem, a transitional space only accessable because of the rhythm of the tide and moon.The victorian craft of seaweed pressing captures this transitional beauty and documents the variety of different seaweed species.
Rock Oyster Festival, Seaweed Spa, Talk, Pressing Workshop
Toast, Virtual Workshop and Talk
Shallal Studios, Knitted Together, Material exploration workshop series
Falmouth & Exeter Student Union, Green Living Society, Workshop
Falmouth University, Sustainable Product Design, Guest Lecture and Workshop
Jubilee Wharf Gallery Penryn, Seaweed Pressing Exhibiton
Cornwall Design Festival, The Anatomy of Design, Talk and Workshop