Sooooo…. a lot has happened since my last post here and my artist residency at Brunswick Mechanics Institute. Firstly, I gotta admit, Im just not all that great at keeping up with this blog and social media… so forgive me! But I love that most of what I do is away from screens. I’ve spent most of my winter in my studio creating, mixing herbs in my apothecary or cooking in my kitchen… and since Spring is (finally) here, gardening duties are calling! The sun is out and the plants are waking up after a long and cold winter.
Secondly, I was invited to present Spice Trails at Footscray Community Arts Centre! And what pleasure it was to come back to the Gabriel Gallery at FCAC to host an intimate dinner party over two nights in late August.
Spice Trails performance dinners on 24th and 25th Aug were a huge success. Thanks to everyone who attended and participated in this ever evolving live art project inspired by the Silk Road. And thanks to Footscray Community Arts Centre for making it happen & the chefs at Happy River Cafe for the delicious feast, and the talented crew at Pomp & Splendour for the gorgeous flower arrangements.
The next seating on 26th Oct is now SOLD OUT. But there is a waiting list at this link if you’d like to register your interest should tickets (or new sessions) come available http://footscrayarts.com/event/spice-trails/
Below is a slide show of some images from August’s seatings, taken by Felis Sarcepuedes.
What I love about this project is that it always looks and feels different, depending on who is in the room! The dynamic nature of live art and participatory art make every seating beautifully unique. Since last year, Spice Trails has evolved into an immersive live art series of performative dinners and installations, inviting guests to explore and experience the cultural, social and political dimensions of contemporary food culture while drawing on important histories inspired by the spice trade along Silk Road.
This journey explores the development and destruction of great civilisations that has shaped the way we eat today. The narrative unfolds through a 5-course vegan meal with matching wine available, inviting the audience to become performers, sharing stories of merchants in multiple languages. The route this year followed five stops along the (massive) Silk Road, starting in China’s Sichuan Province, travelling through India, Palestine, Southern Spain and finally, stopping in France for dessert. Spices at each one of these places weaved everything from flavours, colours and stories.
This year, I was really curious about experimenting with natural dying, and different textures of silk. There is something special about exploring materiality through all of our senses. You would’ve noticed in some of the images above the various colours of silks presented with the spices they are dyed with. My personal favourite is the bright yellow of raw silk soaked in turmeric. And as one of the notes read:
“In every apple you are eating Jupiter; in every plum, Saturn”
And with Turmeric you eat the sun.
I’m looking forward to hosting another seating next month! For now, back in the studio to get on with it.