Dr Laura Cuch

Staff details

Dr Laura Cuch






l.cuch (@gold.ac.uk)

Laura is a visual artist and cultural geographer interested in communities, food cultures and material performativity

I'm a cultural geographer and visual artist interested in migration, urban communities and food cultures. My work involves photography, film and installation and contributes to urban studies, sociocultural research and media studies. It engages critiques of representation via posthuman materialist performativity and more-than-representational approaches to knowledge practices. I explore the affective and performative potential of visual and participatory methods for enacting new concepts, subjects, relationships and social realities. This often involves processes of collaboration with individuals and communities, through which the subjectivities of participants and the artist coemerge. This is key for how I approach phenomena that are fairly universal and highly personal at the same time. Structured around this tension, my work explores shared experiences by contrasting a plurality of specific cases, as well as through the interplay of image-making and biographical narratives.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Cultural Geography, University College London 2022
  • MA in Photography and Urban Cultures, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London 2006
  • Photography Diploma (3 years), Institut d'Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya, Barcelona 2004
  • BA (Hons) in Advertising and Public Relations, Media and Communications, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona 2002

Teaching and supervision

I'm interested in supervising both thesis and practice-based PhDs on:

  • Communities, migration and food cultures
  • Creative and practice-based research on food
  • Food and sociocultural research
  • The relationship between photography, health and the body
  • Processes of subjectivity
  • New materialisms, including material performativity
  • Visual, creative and participatory research methods
  • The intersection of practice research and social research

I convene the Cross-Platform Media Practice in BA Anthropology and Media and teach in:

Research interests

I'm a cultural geographer and visual artist engaging with sociocultural food issues, material practices, migration, as well as urban (religious) communities and identities, at the intersections of cultural geography, sociology, and media and cultural studies. My research is distinctive in that it is conducted through visual and creative practice-based research involving engagement and collaboration with individuals, communities and cultural institutions. Here, it uses more-than-representational and more-than-human approaches to knowledge practices, in order to explore the affective and performative potential of visual and participatory methods for researching socio-material practices of communities.

I have recently gained an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship for the project 'Food and Faith: Material Practices in a Multicultural Suburb of West London'. This aims to extend and maximise the contributions and impact of my practice-related PhD in Geography (UCL) exploring the relations between food, spirituality and everyday practices of faith communities in West London. The research involved the participatory arts project, Spiritual Flavours, including a cookbook, a 28’ film, the photographic series Meals, and the Spiritual Flavours Spice Lab.

Previously, I investigated the relationship between photography, health and the body in my trilogy of portrait projects Sleepless (2008), No Ma (2009) and Trans (2011) about sleep deprivation, non-motherhood and organ transplantation, respectively. Other projects include Gathering (2015) and The Best Place in The World (2005-2014), which focus on experiences of family and home. These projects developed from my interests in the relationship between photography and subjectivity, and the visualisation of urban geographies. These build on my commissioned work at the intersection of documentary, participatory arts practice and social research, often engaging diverse urban communities.

Grants and awards

2023: ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Department of Sociology
'Food and Faith: Material Practices in a Multicultural Suburb of West London'

2023: Goldsmiths Practice Research and Practice-Led Development Fund (with Michael Guggenheim)
'Where is the Meal? A Roving and Participatory Event Series on Food, Place and Communities'

2022: Goldsmiths Postdoctoral Bridging Award, Department of Sociology
'One Dish for All: Outdoor and Large-Scale Commensality in Communities and Public Space'

2020: Winner of the Rieger Project Award of the International Visual Sociology Association
The Jon Rieger Awards Program was created in 2012 to recognize outstanding graduate student work in visual sociology.

2020: Shortlisted for the UK 'Peace' category of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

2016: Cross-Disciplinary Training Studentship in Ethnographic and Documentary Filmmaking
University College London, Department of Anthropology

2016: Shortlisted for the Arts and Humanities Research Council 'Research in Film Awards'
AHRC’s Research in Film Awards (RIFA) is the only film awards dedicated to celebrating and recognising arts and humanities research through film.

2015: Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Award, Department of Geography, University College London
Part of 'Design, material culture and popular creativity in suburban faith communities' (Grant reference: AH/M001636/1) led by Professors in Geography Claire Dwyer (UCL) and David Gilbert (RHUL)

2011: Arts Production Grant, Catalan Arts Council
To support the production costs of the publication trilogy: 'Sleepless', 'No Ma', and 'Trans’

2011: Arts Research Grant, Catalan Arts Council
To support the development of the photographic project 'Trans', about the process of negotiating subjectivity, following an organ transplant.

2005: Arts and Humanities Research Council Postgraduate Award, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London

Publications and research outputs


Cuch, Laura. 2020. AGNES’ recipe of Easter Żurek soup with blessed salt. Feast Journal, 3(2), 19. ISSN 2397-785X

Gilbert, David; Dwyer, Claire; Ahmed, Nazneen; Cuch, Laura and Hyacinth, Natalie. 2019. The hidden geographies of religious creativity: place-making and material culture in West London faith communities. Cultural Geographies, 26(1), pp. 23-41. ISSN 1474-4740

Guggenheim, Michael and Cuch, Laura. 2018. Encounter, create and eat the world: a meal (workshop). EASST Review, 37(4), pp. 31-33. ISSN 1384-5160

Artist's Book

Cuch, Laura. 2019. Spiritual Flavours.

Cuch, Laura. 2011. Sleepless.

Cuch, Laura. 2011. No Ma.

Conference or Workshop Item

Cuch, Laura. 2023. 'Spiritual flavours: A photographic, filmic and culinary exploration of food and religion in a multi-faith suburb'. In: Research in Sociology of Religion Seminar Series. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain 27 April 2023.

Cuch, Laura. 2023. 'Artist Talk'. In: Optic Translations. London School of Architecture, United Kingdom 9 February 2023.

Ortigosa, Javi and Cuch, Laura. 2019. 'Urban Walk: Urban Transitions and Public Space'. In: Cities of Light, Barcelona. Barcelona, Spain 21-23 February 2019.


Cuch, Laura. 2017. Spiritual Flavours Film.


Rooke, Alison; Slater, Imogen; Cuch, Laura; Black, Carrie-Ann; Ellis, Megan and Harris, Lucy. 2015. Making It Together: An evaluative study of Creative Families, an arts and mental health partnership between the South London Gallery and the Parental Mental Health Team. Project Report. Goldsmiths, University of London, London.

Rooke, Alison; Graham, Janna; Garrido Sanchez, Cristina; Furlauto, Ananda; Cuch, Laura; Ferreri, Mara and Tabner, Katey. 2012. Modalities of Exchange: A Summary Report on the Serpentine Gallery Project Skills Exchange: Urban Transformation and the Politics of Care. Project Report. The Serpentine Gallery and Goldsmiths, University of London, London.


Cuch, Laura. 2022. Spiritual Flavours: Reflections on using creative practice to explore food and religion in a multi-faith suburb. Doctoral thesis, University College London

Selected exhibitions and screenings (*solo shows)

Laura Cuch has exhibited the project Spiritual Flavours Project, including film screenings and Q&As at: Project8 Gallery in Melbourne, 'DIGS' (2022); Watermans Art Centre in London (2019)*; Tate Modern, 'Ealing at the Tate: Making Sacred Space’ (2018); Festival of Political Photography: Post-Food, Helsinki (2017). The Spiritual Flavours film has also screened in London at: Birkbeck University, 'Photography in Academic Research: Images in the Post-Truth Era' (2018); UCL Festival of Culture (2018); RHUL Landscape Surgery Seminar Series (2018); Somerset House, AHRC Utopia Fair (2017).

Previously, she has also exhibited her photographic projects in: Konvent, Berga in Spain (2017); Paraty Em Foco Photo Festival in Brazil (2015); Silverprint, London (2014); Stour Space, London (2014); Fotonoviembre, Tenerife in Spain (2013); Photofusion, London (2013 & 2008); IVSA at Lewisham Arthouse, London (2013); CIRD, Barcelona (2012); H2O Gallery, Barcelona (2012 & 2009); Espai Tabacalera, Tarragona (2012); Biennal Xavier Miserachs, Girona (2012); Zoom In, London (2011); Photomonth East London Photography Festival at Goldsmiths (2012); Museu Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid (2012); Museum of London (2012); Centre Cultural Blanquerna, Madrid (2010); Fundació Caja Madrid, Barcelona (2010); Museu Casa Aymat, Sant Cugat del Vallès (2010); Emergent Lleida Photo Festival (2010); Centre d’Art de Sta Mònica, Barcelona (2009); Scan 09 Foto Festival, Tarragona (2009); Descubrimientos PhotoEspaña, Madrid (2009); Claustre de l'Hospital, Torroella de Montgrí (2008); Institut d’Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya, Barcelona (2007)*; Sala d’Art Jove, Barcelona (2007); The Viewfinder Gallery, London (2007); 5ª Biennal de Vic, Spain (2007); City University, London (2007); Rich Mix, London (2007); Village Underground, London (2006).