Saturday, 30 March 2019

But First We Eat

A ceremonial feast showcasing the ancient technique of baking food encased in clay alongside the work of local designers.

Curated by Jia Jia Chen & Claire Lehmann
15 March - 4 April 2019
Long Division Gallery @ School House Studios81 Rupert Street Collingwood

This was an incredible project, an evening I'll never forget and I am so thankful that I witnessed and participated in an evening dinner.

With performative projects such as these, one asks where is the art or when does the art happen. This moment clearly arrived with the bread cheese and another bottle of pinot. Satiated visually, emotionally and gastronomically, the conversation ebbed and flowed around the experience of the ceramic objects, the quality of the food, the novelty and cultural significance of how the food was cooked, served and eaten.

Bravo! Belisimo!

From the Curators:

The anthropology of food shows us that eating is not only fundamental for pleasure, survival and nutrition, but is also an essential medium for social connectivity, playing an important role in shaping individual and cultural expression. Our emotional response to food is rooted deep within our memories. The preparation and sharing of food has always necessitated design, specifically ceramics.
Early ceramic design spoke of basic survival needs by allowing food to be broken down into more digestible protein-rich forms, whilst also being utilised for serving and storage. Using the dining room as a thematic focus, we are investigating the symbiotic relationship between design and food by staging ceremonial dinners using the ancient technique of baking food encased in clay. This method of cooking first originated in China and was subsequently found in various guises around the world.

Clay wrapped foods will be designed and sculpted into abstract and textural forms highlighting the materials earthy origins. Guests will be provided with tools to break open the handmade exterior to reveal the edible interior, which will remain a mystery until this act of destruction.
Seven local ceramic designers and one furniture maker have been commissioned specially for this event.
The designers are:
Jia Jia Chen - Tobias Bolton - Andrei Davidoff - Alison Frith - Kate Jones - Tessy King - Claudia Lau - Claire Lehmann
The show is curated and hosted by Jia Jia Chen and Claire Lehmann.
Dinner will consist of 3 courses and drinks will be available for purchase.
The dining setting will be refreshed after each dinner party and remain open for viewing, alongside ceramics cups for decoration and a film documenting the feast, from 11am – 3pm Wednesday to Saturday.
As part of the discussion about the role of the individual and the handmade in design, all visitors to the exhibition will be offered an opportunity to participate by decorating their own ceramic cup which they can collect at the end of the exhibition.

Please note: This event will be filmed and exhibited, if you don't wish to be filmed please come to a different event.

Part of Melbourne Design Week 2019, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV

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