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ARTICLE ARCHIVES


January/February 2005

WEB EXCLUSIVE:
Wearable Food Shows

In our January/February 2005 issue, we take a look at bread, cheese, and chocolate as media for wearable art. You’ll see Jean-Paul Gaultier’s garments made from loaves of bread; Cosimo Cavallaro’s experiments with covering garments and even fashion icon Twiggy with melted cheese; and fabulous and funky chocolate gowns created by designers and pastry chefs for a fashion show last year.
We couldn’t get enough of the raw expression this medium provides. This special web feature takes the exploration a step forward by looking at two exhibits that featured wearable food in 2004.

YOU WEAR WHAT YOU EAT:
THE SOCIOLOGY, POLITICS, AND JOY OF FOOD

The members of the Seattle Metals Guild express themselves in a new medium—food.

Leslie Riches has thought a lot about food. There is no denying that food is weighted in symbolism and rich in cultural meanings. As Riches put it: “Much is evoked by a discussion of food—from our delight in it to our problems with it.” As a jewelry artist, Riches has believed that jewelry is the perfect vehicle for food as an artistic medium. When the Seattle Metals Guild approached her to curate a jewelry show, she grabbed the chance to challenge the guild to join in her experimentation with this fleeting form of jewelry. You Wear What You Eat was on display August 12–September 3, 2004, at the Kirkland Arts Center, a community arts center in Kirkland, Washington.


The show was divided into two parts. The first consisted of food-inspired jewelry made with traditional metalsmithing techniques. This work was juried and allowed the metal guild members to work in their own styles while exploring the theme of food. These pieces were on display in the main gallery for the length of the show. The pieces were shown out in the open and at times suspended from the ceiling, creating a viewer-friendly, casual atmosphere.
The second part of the show consisted of pieces of jewelry created out of food itself. This was a challenge directed at the guild members to explore a new medium and new form of expression. These pieces were not juried and left to the discretion of the artists. Due to the perishable nature of the work, Riches devised a different way to display these pieces. The artists wore their pieces to the preview of the show; portraits were taken of each artist wearing his or her creation. The images were printed at the gallery and then hung on the wall during the party. This process created an atmosphere of performance art, as well as a connection between the artists and their work. The portraits were then hung in the loft of the gallery, where they remained until the end of the show. The food creations that could withstand long-term display, including pieces made of tea, dried pasta, and seaweed, joined the more traditional pieces for the duration of the show.


The experiment in new mediums has opened up new doors for some of the members of the Seattle Metals Guild. Ron Pascho and Kristi Zevenbergen’s pieces from the show will be featured in Fabulous Jewelry from Found Objects, to be published by Lark Books in spring 2005.


Leslie M. Riches (curator), It's All About Proportions, Victorian sterling silver fork and spoon, broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, chocolate. Photo: Carl Riches.

Susanne Lechler-Osborn, Why I Grew So Tall, 2004; eggs, silver, 22k gold, sterling silver. Photo: Keith Rincon

Carmen Z. Valdes, Onion Ring, 2004; sterling silver, cocktail onion. Photo: Keith Rincon.

Theresa Lovering-Brown, Untitled, 2004; morel mushrooms, chili peppers, garlic bulb, wrapped in sterling silver, and steel, using the coiling technique. Photo: Keith Rincon.

Patty L. Cokus, Pasta Parure (Pasta Chain Necklace, Pasta Chain Ring, Pasta Earrings, Pasta Bracelet), 2004; ring macaroni, spaghetti, sterling silver. Photo: Carl Riches.

Leslie M. Riches (curator), Chinese Green Bean Necklace, 2004; Sterling silver, woven fine silver and rose gold, Chinese green beans. The piece converts from a necklace to a brooch depending on the materials and is an example of Leslie's early experiments with food jewelry. Photo: Carl G. Riches.




This gallery first appeared
online in:

Jan/Feb 2005

 

 

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