Laver - a new brand of laverbread aimed at the young, metropolitan consumer launched in Cardiff
Kelp - a new art exhibition which opens at National Museum Cardiff on 9 June 2013, sees Welsh laverbread re-branded and repackaged for the modern, health conscious consumer.
Kelp is the latest exhibition by Swansea-born artist Dan Rees, which has been developed from his own love of the seaweed-based food – a product that he regularly gets sent from Wales to his studio in Berlin.
Seaweed has been used in Asia as a food staple for thousands of years. High in protein and packed full of vitamins, consumers in the west are becoming increasingly aware of its claim to be the new superfood. Yet Dan Rees believes Welsh laverbread remains a niche food, promoted and consumed as a ‘heritage’ product or a culinary novelty.
In Kelp, the artist challenges this narrow categorisation by using the tool of advertising to launch a new brand of laverbread for a young, stylish, metropolitan consumer. Using a wide range of media – from packaging design to photography – Dan Rees positions laverbread at the vanguard of a new, green food revolution.
“I am interested in looking at the preconceptions about the identity of Wales and the idea that being Celtic is somehow traditional,” said Dan Rees. “The same product (seaweed) is marketed and sold in Japan and is seen as almost futuristic.”
The restaurant at National Museum Cardiff, which is run by Elior, will be serving a selection of laverbread based dishes for two weeks from 9 June, which is the day Kelp opens to the public. The exhibition, supported by the Colwinston Charitable Trust, will be open until Sunday 1 September 2013.
Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales operates seven national museums across Wales. These are National Museum Cardiff; St Fagans: National History Museum; National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon; Big Pit: National Coal Museum; Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre; National Slate Museum, Llanberis; National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.
Admission to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales’s Museums is free thanks to the support of the Welsh Government.