May 27, 2014

ART & Appetite by Deborah Nash

Marcel Broodthaers, Casserole & Closed Mussels
Could you tell us about the work you will be showing during this year's E17 Art Trail?
 I’m running a slide show at The Mill on how artists have depicted food in art, for the Appetite strand of the Art Trail, starting with early images, such as an Ancient Egyptian tomb painting, to the present day, a 2013 series of prints of the last meal convicted prisoners ate on Death Row.

I began by looking at the still life, but then challenged that approach to show food as a material to create with, or as a means of interruption and intervention, to convey a political message or as social critique. I’ve now got a strong selection of incredibly varied artworks.

How have you been preparing for this year's trail?
I try to use work from London galleries, and I’ve been visiting them like old friends and taking a second look. The idea is to encourage others to do the same, though I also hope it will spark ideas in people’s own creative practice, whatever that might be.

Two of my house-mates are making cakes for the session, so I guess they’re toying with ideas of edible art.

Could you tell us about an artist that particularly inspires you?
For this presentation it’s been fascinating to find connections between artists, such as Frida Kahlo and Helen Chadwick, and to create a dialogue between works or use them as foils to highlight contrary aspects; Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, a feminist re-imagining of The Last Supper from the point of view of those who did the cooking, is a good example of that – I’ve put it next to Caravaggio’s The Supper at Emmaus. 

How does inhabiting a community like Walthamstow help your practice? 

I can honestly say that Walthamstow is the first place in London where I’ve felt rooted and had a deeper sense of belonging. It’s partly to do with where I’m living and the community of like-minded people I now share a house with; it’s also to do with the place itself – its mix of rural and urban and its position on the border of London and Essex. An ‘edge’ seems to me to be an interesting place to be. The generosity and openness of so many organisations – The Mill, Significant Seams, Abstract Yarns – have been very important in creating a social glue out of which ideas come and opportunities for making things happen and for creating new work emerge. 

Listing no.60 in the guide. Click here for more information

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