This week we were looking at Taste and how it might influence or enhance approaching our art work and creative process.
Taste is of course very subjective and food has been used in art both in direct and indirect ways. We referred to Anthony Gormley and his bread sculptures, Claus Oldenburg for his pop art floor cake, burger and other food items and several artists who have looked to food as subject matter for still life - in this brief exploration of the sense of taste I was hoping to highlight some of the subtleties and associations of this sense.
First we did a warm up in pairs identifying something small that our partner had changed in their appearance this encouraged students to take time to think and look ....this exercise is useful done several times over until you think you have run out of choices...it can help to break through blocks and push you beyond your usual thought pattern. We all notice things to a degree and then switch off relying on our memory or habit of simply sticking to what we know. To break out of this opens up new pathways which is especially helpful when trying to make art that remains interesting and challenging.
After this we looked at a diagram of the tongue and its taste receptor areas of sweet, salty, sour and bitter including umami - a pleasant savory taste (from the Japanese) .
To get immediate experience and wake up our taste buds we tasted some large caperberries, green chili peppers and slices of lemon. Then discussed each of our experiences which rapidly led to stories of associations and childhood memories of food.
Focussing the mind onto creating something visual and consolidating our previous discussion and experience we drew some aubergines - just straight aubergines whole or cut open.
Cheryl with felt/sewn aubergine
Carol's lovely bold bagel with fish, aubergine arrangements and chocolate slab squares
Sadly I missed photographing Miriam's wax resist and water colour aubergines.
These senses workshops are intellectually demanding as they involve a lot of thinking and application - however there are ways of bringing us back to the subject if we are struggling (and we can do this in our own time too to bring us back to our work if we are getting stuck) An easy on for TASTE at coffee time it was cupcake blind tasting.
Identical mini cakes made in 6 flavours; rose, orange, lemon, peppermint, cola, and strawberry. This was harder than I anticipated for two reasons 1) some people were not sweet toothed and found the sweetness too overpowering and 2) it's difficult when there are no visual clues to search your memory for identification of a taste....we were literally closing our eyes and delving deep into our minds to recall the time when we had tasted something similar.
Students created work around a food item they had brought in that held some significance for them.
Miriam's 'real' bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon
David's bread relief
Cheryl's final autobiographical piece
Aubergine with Bagel and tinned Nappolina Tomatoes.