Spice Trails & Trade Routes

You are invited to this special event that is part dinner, part performance & part installation.

Hosted by artist & nutritionist Rasha Tayeh, in collaboration with creative chef Shu Liu.

Imagine an ancient map as your dinner table, tracing Silk Road and other important trade routes. Explore through taste and smell a journey that shaped the development and destruction of great civilisations and in turn, the way we eat today.

Each stop along the road will deliver a special course featuring a particular herb or spice. As you take this culinary journey across the dinner table, you will be invited to tell stories of spice merchants and traders. Stories will unfold at each stop and with each course.

This intimate dinner party is at 7pm Friday 28th April 2017 at MESMA Studio (limited to 20 guests only).

$120 per person includes 5-course dinner, or $150 per person for dinner including wine.

To book your ticket please visit this link.

The participatory story telling during this curated dinner may be in various languages, with interpretations in Arabic, English & Auslan (Australian Sign Language).

Please note, the menu is vegetarian/vegan, but if you are strictly vegan or have any allergies, get in touch when you book your ticket to ensure you are catered for accordingly.

For more information contact: rasha.tayeh@gmail.com

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Rasha Tayeh is a Palestinian artist based in Melbourne; her work crosses a range of photography, film, sound and installation practices. She is also a nutritionist and researcher interested in food history, food anthropology, and the space where art and health intersect. Rasha’s work draws on themes around phenomenology, identity, feminist issues, spirituality and humans’ place in society and their natural environment. Her work has been exhibited at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (Melbourne), National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), International Arts & Health Conference at the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), Alderman Gallery (Melbourne), Sustainable Living Festival (Melbourne), Transitions Film Festival (Melbourne & Adelaide), Environmental Film Festival (Melbourne), Sguardi Altrove Film Festival (Milan), Hidden Features Cinema (Edinburgh), Life Sciences Film Festival (Prague), Palestine Museum of Natural History (Bethlehem), Little Woods Gallery (Melbourne) and Footscray Community Arts Centre (Melbourne).

Shu Liu is a self-taught creative chef and owner of Shu Restaurant in Collingwood.  He’s passionate about experimenting with flavours and textures from his hometown cuisine in Sichuan.  Shu’s recipes and menu design reflect seasonal and local produce, with a focus on fusion cooking.

Spice Trails & Trade Routes

I’m feeling grateful for all that has happened the past 12 months since moving back to Melbourne… the projects, exhibitions, workshops and opportunities this year brought my way have been wonderful.  It’s good to be back, and I’m feeling excited about what 2017 has in store.

Before I take a little hiatus from online blogging and news sharing, I wanted to share something I’ll be working on this summer… a special event to welcome the new year that is part dinner, part performance and part installation.

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The working title is Spice Trails & Trade Routes…

Imagine an ancient map as your dinner table, with plates being served, or rather, travelling across this map to tell a story from the perspective of spices… maybe there will be cinnamon, saffron, nutmeg, star anise, cloves, pepper, chilli, cardamon or other aromatic herbs… Following Silk Road, the Way of the Sea, the Ridge Route and other important trade routes between Asia, Europe and Africa that have shaped the way we eat today.

Each stop on the map will deliver a special course featuring a herb or spice, and so as guests take this journey across the dinner table, stories of spice merchants and traders unfold at each stop and with each course.

Stay tuned for more news on this project…

For now, enjoy your end of year break.  And may 2017 bring you all your hearts’ desires.

Rasha Tayeh © All Rights Reserved

Growing Food Project

It’s been 3 years since I released my short film the Growing Food Project (2013), and as this year is coming to a close, I’m feeling quite reflective thinking about how things have changed in the last few years… and how many more local food projects have sprung up around Melbourne since this little film was made.

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Video still, Growing Food Project (2013)

This 15-minute film documents Melbourne’s local food movement and community food initiatives, where people come together to build local, fair and sustainable food systems.  I feel honoured that most of the people featured in the film & others who have worked behind the scenes are good friends of mine.  To learn more about the film check out this blog post from the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).

The film had a great run screening nationally & internationally.  And I’m really humbled by the feedback I received and the number of emails telling me that since watching this little film, some people felt inspired to start a garden in their homes or their neighbourhoods.

It makes my heart smile knowing that the art I create resonates.

The film has been offline for a bit, while screening at international film festivals.  But the time has come to share it with you again…  So click here to watch it.

In loving memory of my dear friend & teacher, Glenda M Lindsay Jan 23 1954 – Jan 15 2017.

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Video still, Growing Food Project (2013)

 

Growing Food Project, film by Rasha Tayeh © All Rights ReservedPrint

 

Herbs & Spices

Last Thursday, I spend the afternoon styling for a personal photoshoot with my talented friend Marleena Forward.  We had a great time shooting these lovely colours and an even better time when two year old Sonny joined us!

Here are some of the ‘behind the scenes’ photographs from the day… Thank you Marleena & Sonny for a fabulous afternoon.

© Rasha Tayeh. All Rights Reserved. 2016

 

 

On Food & Memory: Catalogue

This year has been a busy one so far!

My next solo exhibition for the year, titled On Food & Memory opens today – Saturday 18th June at 2pm at Gabriel Gallery, Footscray Community Arts Centre.

For more information visit FCAC website and for those interested in the Catalogue Essay, see below:

Artist Statement

In this audio-visual exhibition On Food & Memory I document intimate stories about food histories and traditions that shape people’s memories.

Memories are of course deeply personal, but they also construct the rich tapestry of social life.  This exhibition explores the connections between food, culture and identity; how food is used in rituals and how it forms sensory memory.

In my journey into personal and collective memory, I wondered, in what ways does food, eaten by individuals, feed collective memory?

The stories in this exhibition offer up many answers to this question. But one thing was always apparent – these are all stories about love.

Artist Biography

Rasha Tayeh is a Palestinian artist based in Melbourne; her work crosses a range of photography, film, sound and installation practices. She is also a nutritionist and researcher, interested in food anthropology and the space where art and health intersect. Rasha’s work draws on themes around phenomenology, identity, feminist issues, spirituality and humans’ place in society and their natural environment.

Her work has been exhibited at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (Melbourne), National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Alderman Gallery (Melbourne), Little Woods Gallery (Melbourne), Sustainable Living Festival (Melbourne), Transitions Film Festival (Melbourne & Adelaide), Environmental Film Festival (Melbourne), Sguardi Altrove Film Festival (Milan), Hidden Features Cinema (Edinburgh), Life Sciences Film Festival (Prague) and the Palestine Museum of Natural History (Bethlehem).

List of works

1. Nazaree Audio 6:42 minutes,
Archival pigment prints, various sizes
 
2. Shu Audio 4:52 minutes,
Archival pigment prints, various sizes
3. Marcelo Audio 6:05 minutes,
Archival pigment prints, various sizes
4. Rasha Audio 6:23 minutes,
Archival pigment prints, various sizes
5. Sonia Audio 4:46 minutes,
Archival pigment prints, various sizes
6. Louis Audio 3:50 minutes,
Archival pigment prints, various sizes
7. Marcella Audio 4:16 minutes,
Archival pigment prints, various sizes
8. Jad Audio 5:06 minutes,
Archival pigment prints, various sizes
9. Edward Audio 4:17 minutes,
Archival pigment prints, various sizes

 

Acknowledgements

I would like to specifically thank a number of people who helped make this exhibition possible. Firstly, my grandmother, Teita Nadia and my mother Raida Dajani who’s unconditional love, support and delicious recipes have continually nourished my soul and inspired this project. My dear friends and community who generously shared their beautiful stories, intimate memories and delicious dishes and took part in this project: Sonia Perez, Marcella Brassett, Nazaree Dickerson, Shu Liu, Marcelo Zerwes, Edward Clarke, Louis Majiwa and Jad Choucair.

Thanks to Janak Rogers for his invaluable support during audio post-production, Tim Ainsworth at Thirds Fine Art Printing and Aaron Wilson for his website support. Hani Tayeh for his helping hands during installation and Sary Zananiri for being my sounding board.

I would also like to thank the talented composers and musicians whose work features in some of the audio portraits: Benoit Charron, Nader Ruhayel and Matt Nicholson.

Finally, thanks to the fantastic team at FCAC for their extraordinary support in presenting this exhibition, especially Bernadette Fitzgerald, Isabel Fitzgerald, Catherine French and Darren Gee.

On Food & Memory

In what ways does food, eaten by individual bodies, feed collective memory?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this question while researching the anthropology of food.

On Food & Memory is the title for my next exhibition at Footscray Community Arts Centre in Melbourne this coming June.  The show will explore food and memory by documenting intimate stories about food histories and traditions shaping people’s memories.

Memories hold significance on a deeply personal level, and at the same time, construct the rich tapestry of social life. In this audio-visual exhibition, I’ll be looking at how food is connected to culture and identity, how it is used in rituals and how it forms sensory memory.

On Food & Memory invites you to celebrate food, culture and culinary history in a nostalgic reflection on foods remembered, secret recipes and family traditions.

Opening: Saturday 18th June 2016, 2-3:30pm

Exhibition: 16th June – 2nd July 2016

Venue: Gabriel Gallery at Footscray Community Arts Centre

The senses and the sensory

A sense is defined as any of the faculties – such as sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch – by which humans and animals perceive stimuli originating from inside or outside the body.  
In my current show at Little Woods Gallery, my aim was to create a space where people could really tune into their senses with very simple and familiar stimuli: food & plants. 
In my ongoing research on food and sensory memory, one of the highlights of this show has been the plant installation where I asked people to write down a memory that came to mind when they smell one of the plants displayed. 
 
Focusing on our sense of smell, I called the piece ‘Memory Garden’ and selected herbs that are used in many dishes and often found in home gardens.  There was sage, peppermint, spearmint, garlic chives, Vietnamese mint, parsley, thyme, lemon verbena, oregano, rosemary and chamomile.  
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It has been fascinating coming in to the gallery to read the notes left behind.  There are recollections of places, cities, homes, Bolognese sauce, favourite dishes, tabouli, lovers, parents and grandparents… especially, grandmothers!   
Thanks to everyone who shared their memories, they are simply beautiful. 
This has been a really interesting exploration, especially with my next project in mind, which specifically documents stories on food & memory.  So stay tuned for a more nostalgic reflection.  
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