Food Glorious Food

Material Memories: Session 5 @ The Islington Museum

Ok, food was ALWAYS going to be a popular topic but wow did the group excel themselves this week… we were in for a culinary treat!  An international buffet to delight even the harshest food critic,  providing us literally, with food for thought.

Material Memories Sense Uk
On the menu: Homemade samosas, KuKu a traditional Farsi dish, pickled gerkins, homemade Italian potato pie, smoked salmon, homemade apple crumble, hot cross buns & shortbread.

After much munching and chatting about food, our good and bad experiences of it and learning all about each others foodie traditions we eventually got down to some making (punctuated by the odd detour via the buffet table).

We had a very productive session, here are some of the panels the group made…

sense uk art & wellbeing
Creating a fabric childhood favourite.
sense arts & wellbeing
An homage to the humble chip buttie! Surely the most beautiful and adorned chip buttie in the world…ever!
sense arts & wellbeing material memories
A tactile interpretation of spaghetti, garden peas and a mini beaded samosa.


sense uk arts and wellbeing material memories
Looks good enough to eat! Wooly spaghetti with passata and fabric basil leaves.


sense uk arts & wellbeing material memories
Recreating a traditional Indian metal plate with different pots of dhal.

Fuelled by good food energy levels were high and some of us moved on to printing onto fabric with vegetables.

Messy but good fun and great for getting some background texture on which to work next time.

material memories sense uk arts and well being.
Childs play? You are never too old to do some printing with corn on the cob, okra, peppers and potatoes!

sense uk arts & wellbeing material memories

 We finished with a creative memory challenge designed to evoke the strong link between smell and memory.

We handed around covered jars containing different food smells and, without revealing what they thought the smell was, shared our immediate reaction and the memory it evoked with the group… with some surprising results. Smells included: red wine vinegar, single malt whisky, peppermint, almond, garlic, fresh ginger, nutmeg, orange squash.

material memories sense uk arts & wellbeing
Wrinkled noses and genuine smiles in equal measures as we put our Olfactory organs to work.

Thank you all for embracing this weeks topic so whole heartedly and for all your efforts in the kitchen, which made this session such a success.

Next week an object handling session with items from the museums archives as we explore connections between collecting, hobbies  and memory.

Author: Alex McEwan

Alex is an artist who specialises in inclusive and accessible community arts projects, such as Sense's TEXTtile and Quilt Tales.

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