Last Friday saw me manage and curate ‘Sweet Tooth’ – a group exhibition around the theme of food at Funky Aardvark Gallery, Chester. It was the first time I had been fully responsible for organising and curating an exhibition since my solo show at Gage Gallery, Sheffield in March.
The difference here was the refreshingly positive impact my show had on the other artists involved. Learning from the struggles of producing a body of work and promoting it alone, I decided that this particular venture would be appropriate for collaboration – with each artist approaching the subject of food differently and as such exemplifying the scope the subject of food provides to an artist.
We have my own work; a physical narration of a three course meal which seeks to exploit the physical properties of food, rather than the pleasurable effects food has upon the individual. We also have artists concerned with re-imagining the fairy tale; those using food to contain information that reveals itself to you through knowledge of your environment; those harnessing food’s capacity for metaphor and personal reflection,; and those who speculate what food could become. Whilst there is a diversity in the work shown, there is also a cohesiveness that underpins the experience, allowing for an inherently satisfying and engaging exhibition.
The work shown at Funky Aardvark Gallery includes food artist Emma McLean, artist Louise Morgan and a collaboration between Ben Hultum, Andi Lowe-Smith, and Kevin Brackenbury of Edens of Handbridge.
Each artist has contributed something which seeks to highlight, exploit of disrupts our relationship with food. From a collaborative point of view, and keeping in mind that not many of the artists knew too much about each other beforehand, the show works very well: It successfully provides an audience with an experience that broadens their perceptions of food and what food can be – with work that provides an inclusive sense of solace and work that seeks to challenge pre-conceived notions.
My own work sought to re-imagine the three course meal.
It is certainly one of the most enjoyable endeavours I had been part of, and fittingly acts as a neat way to call time on my entirely food-based work. It was enjoyable due to the diversity of the artists involved, and the social experience of meeting artists with similar artistic concerns. Although my practice is now moving away from food to look in particular at memory, I do hope to work with these artists again, as it was great!
So anyway, I press on – feeling as though I am emerging from this year ever more established and ready to further my own creative practice. I am sure this experience will inform my future endeavours and provide a marker for which to gauge future successes.
You can see ‘Sweet Tooth’ up until 17th September at Funky Aardvark, Chester.
With special thanks to the artists involved: