The art of going vegan, from the inside out
The vegan movement is gaining traction, and with it, the potential for a whole new type of art.
While the movement was started by artists, it’s also grown into a movement that’s embraced art, music, and food as an integral part of its aesthetic.
These art-centered vegan art projects, which have been around since 2012, are creating a new art form for the movement.
Some are starting in the form of vegan food festivals, while others are taking a broader approach.
Some artists, like Svetlana Shpagina, are taking on the role of vegans in a more formal context.
Svetlo’s art shows a range of vegan art, ranging from collages to sculptures.
But the main theme is always the food.
In many ways, the artworks are like an interactive exhibition, in that the artist is trying to figure out how to create a meaningful space for the audience to interact with the work and interact with their food.
For Svetlavina, it comes down to creating spaces that are accessible, yet still meaningful.
“I want to make my work as accessible as possible for everyone,” she says.
“When I’m creating art, I’m also trying to make it accessible to people who don’t necessarily feel like they can do it.
The food has always been there.
I’m trying to show it in a different way.”
Shpagnina’s artworks range from collage to sculptures, and many of her paintings include references to vegan food, like an orange banana in one piece.
She says that the most challenging part of her art work is making sure that it’s not just a food-centric experience, but also shows how art can be a part of an overall cultural conversation about food.
“If we’re going to talk about the way that food is used in culture, then it’s only natural that we should have a conversation about how art is used as part of that conversation,” she explains.
“It’s a way of connecting to other cultures, and being able to look at things from a different point of view.
So I try to show different perspectives on the same topic.”
Shackelford’s work is about a vegan cooking class that took place in Japan.
For her, food is a fundamental part of the experience.
“The idea is to create an experience that’s really welcoming and nourishing, and not really in the way you think about it, like you think, like it’s an all-consuming, unhealthy thing,” she explained.
“So I try not to focus on it as something that’s always going to be bad or bad for you, and instead to be able to really enjoy it and appreciate it for what it is.”
Some of Shackel’s pieces are also about how the relationship between food and art can shift.
“For me, art is a form of communication,” she said.
“My art has always taken the form that I like, and I feel like it could always change depending on what I’m doing.
For me, the way I make art is that I’m going to make the food look beautiful and healthy, but the only thing that really matters to me is the food itself.”
For some of Shapagninas work, she’s creating a space that’s intimate, like a vegan cafe.
“Some of my art pieces, they’re about the intimate relationship between people, and what it means to have a space where people are talking and sharing things,” she continues.
“In that way, I hope that I can continue to be a kind of ‘living wall,’ like a place where people can meet and hang out and have fun.”
One of Shpagu’s most striking works, a piece titled “Diet,” is about the food she eats.
It’s a meditation on what it takes to eat vegan.
“Disease is always a topic that is often misunderstood in the vegan community,” Shpago says.
But when you think of food as disease, you can actually see the connections to it.
“To me, vegan food is always something that is meant to be eaten, and when you’re trying to live on a vegan diet, it means eating as much as possible, and eating as healthy as possible,” she added.
The artist describes this piece as a meditation about how food can become a way to be intimate with one’s health.
“You’re not eating the food, you’re listening to the food,” she adds.
“And that’s where a lot of the connections come from.
When you listen to the music, it becomes a way for you to be connected to something deeper, and it becomes more meaningful for you.”
For Sveta, who grew up vegetarian, food has a special place in her life.
“Food is always connected to my health and my health is connected to everything in life,” she remembers.
“There’s always a connection to your food.
And so it’s just very important to be in the moment and connect