In this semi-autobiographical book, British artist Sue Webster offers readers a rare glimpse into life as one half of the acclaimed artist-duo, Tim Noble and Sue Webster. The Folly Acres Cook Book combines recipes from the kitchen of the Gloucestershire smallholding shared by Tim and Sue, along with drawings, photographs, thoughts, anecdotes and personal memories.
Originally cooked for family and friends including the chef Mark Hix, and the singer songwriter PJ Harvey, the recipes form an illustrated diary of Webster’s life between the years of 2010 and 2014. Testament to her irreverent humour, Webster includes both classic and experimental dishes, alongside creative instructions for life in the country. She explains: “As I executed each idea I would test it out on a variety of guinea pigs, and recorded each dish on my iPhone. Sometimes I got bored of the edible dish and would photograph the garbage in the bin – the potato peelings and egg shells, as I found this to be somehow more attractive and synonymous to the trash sculptures that Tim and I had made.”
Introduced with an original poem by PJ Harvey that was inspired by her visit to Folly Acres, the Cook Book is hand-typed on a 1940s Olympia Robust typewriter originally developed for use by the German militia during World War II. Illustrated throughout with colour photographs and unseen drawings by both Tim and Sue, The Folly Acres Cook Book is an entirely unique publication from one of Britain’s most acclaimed contemporary artists.
Since Tim Noble and Sue Webster's first solo show in London, British Rubbish in 1996, the duo have enjoyed international recognition with solo exhibitions at Rockefeller Plaza, New York, 2008, The Freud Museum, London, 2006, CAC Malaga, 2005, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2004, P.S.1/MoMA, New York, 2003, Milton Keynes Gallery, UK, 2002, Deste Foundation, Athens, 2000 and The Chisenhale Gallery, London, 1999. Their work was included in Statuephilia—Contemporary Sculptors at The British, London in 2008–09 and in the exhibition Apocalypse—Beauty and Horror in Contemporary Art, at The Royal Academy, London, 2000. Toxic Schizophrenia (Hyper Version) their first permanent public sculpture was unveiled at Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, May 2009. Previously the public art installation Electric Fountain, was exhibited at Rockefeller Plaza, New York, February 2008. In 2009 the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery selected The Head of Isabella Blow for inclusion to its permanent collection.
Their work is in the permanent collections of the Arken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Artis-François Pinault, France; Berengo Studio, Venice; The British Museum, London; Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens; Es Baluard Museum, Palma, Spain; The Goss-Michael Collection, Dallas; Honart Museum, Tehran, Iran; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; National Portrait Gallery, London; The Olbricht Collection, Berlin; Project Space 176–The Zabludowicz Collection, London; Saatchi Collection, London; Samsung Museum, Seoul, Korea; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Noble & Webster have created a remarkable group of anti-monuments in their seventeen-year career, mixing the strategies of modern sculpture and the attitude of punk to make art from anti-art. Their work derives much of its power from its fusion of opposites, form and anti-form, high culture and anti-culture, male and female, craft and rubbish, sex and violence.