Young people from Shacklewell Primary School have collaborated with artist Agnes Poitevin-Navarre to research and create artwork inspired by food, relating this to their personal heritage and experiences, as part of the One and Other project.
Participants investigated how people define themselves through food and how food can ground people historically, economically, emotionally and geographically. The ritual of choosing, preparing and eating food reveals our tastes and backgrounds. Some food can be read as symbols of a historical power struggle eg potato, coffee, banana. Others hold memories of great moments. Food offers a point of commonality that crosses many cultural, social and racial boundaries.
Initially participants talked about food and took a research journey related to their personal experiences. They tasted food, then located countries geographically on world maps. In groups, they created food poems based on food that is associated with particular countries. A food diary was kept in order to share where their diets crossed over or not.
The next stage was to design a personal ‘Food of Champions’ ceramic plate, first on paper plates then visiting a ceramics studio. This whole 5 week process allowed each participant to explore their own culture, and better understand how cultures within a single classroom are linked.
The results of their collaborative research and imaginations will be on show in the One and Other exhibition at Rivington Place from 22 April – 1 May 2010.
Shacklewell Primary School is one of four schools participating in the One and Other project funded by A New Direction as part of Creative Partnerships. The project took place from January to April 2010.