Food and the creative disciplines have long shared interstices. It's there in the avant-garde short films of Jan Svankmajer (Meat Love, for example); the immersive experiential research and radical dining events of the Center for Genomic Gastronomy (and, to an extent, Bompas & Parr); in mischer'traxler's cast vegetable tableware; Erwin Wurm's expansive collection of gherkins; and in the collected recipes of Eidia's Starving Artists' Cookbook (not to mention our own Artist's Palate series).
Over the past four years, the liminal spaces between food and ceramics have been further explored as part of 'Art Food', an internationally-focused project that aims to integrate education and a diverse range of cultural and working practices, always with the intention of creating idiosyncratic, functional ceramics that be constituted as displays for culinary works of art.
'MyCellule' by Klaudia Kasprzak
This year's show – staged from 17–21 October – saw a collaboration between the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts and the Pratt Institute in New York. In preparation for the exhibition, the 12 students involved attended a variety of design, anthropological and culinary workshops under the guidance of designer Marek Cecuła (in-part at the Ćmielów Design Studio at the Ćmielów and Chodzie ż Polish Porcelain Factories), immersing themselves in the ceramic design and manufacturing process, as well as exploring the socio-cultural nuances of food as ritual. The results – meticulous, outré and intuitive new pieces of ceramic tableware – were shown at New York's David Weeks Studio and at the Krakow Academy's in-house gallery space.
And most impressive it was. Take Amy Seabolt's slip-cast porcelain table set, tiny bowl/plate hybrids designed for use within a tasting menu, that stack matryoshka-like within each other. (Klaudia Kasprzak's organic, cellular dishes are also meant for multi-course menus, though fit flat into an indented base.)
'Mississippi' by Matylda Polak
Or the 'Mamta' series Aditi Kedia; a childhood-memory-inspired set (the name means 'mother's love' in Hindi) redolent of seashells. Elsewhere, Hannah Kruh-Vort's 'Strata' dishes are designed for serving hors d'oeuvres, but stack together to form fluid little sculptures. More intriguing still is Dorota Ziaja's 'Foodllery' range of table jewellery – bowls, skewers, plates and cups with incorporated rings to allow easy carrying at receptions and cocktail parties; and Paulina Morawa's organic set of dishes inspired by the process of leaves unfurling.
On view from this week, 'Art Food 2016+' is an addendum to last month's show, taking place at the Centre for the Meeting of Cultures in Lubin, Poland. The new event will see the original fair's works on display again, as well as an opening 'molecular gastronomy show' by chef Jean Bos utilising the 'Art Food' ceramics, and a series of family-oriented workshops.