Messages, Medals and Memorials Deeds Not Words

Eating out in the Great Outdoors


24th April - 9th July 2006

5th Annual MoDA Outdoor Group Show

curated by Jolanta Jagiello

Outdoor eating can be traced back to the 2nd Century B.C., when eating outdoors was a welcome break for labourers toiling on the land. It was not until the 18th Century that eating out as a planned event occurred. Nancy McIntrye in Eating Architecture edited by J. Horwitz and P. Single. states that a: good picnic is a respite from the ordinary, an escape from routine, a time for adventurous feasting. In Britain, eating outside has been traditionally dominated by the picnic. Now, challenged by the importation of the Parisian Cafe to British culture, the activity of outdoor eating has sprawled out onto the pavements - the subject of Darryl Moores installation at the front of MoDA.

In total, sixteen artists have adventurously created a variety of contemporary responses to outdoor eating from: picnic food, utensils, outdoor seating, and food production. The viewer is invited to imagine the art of eating, drinking, and chatting in the great outdoors. Sharing conversations and the reciting of poetry and philosophical phrases on lazy, hazy, summer days as found in Mamet’s famous painting Le Dejeuner sur L’herbe. Deborah Garner installation, cast in white wax leaves the viewer with the impression of the picnic. Whilst, Cheryl James and Marilyn Collins video and installation concentrates on the process of eating and washing. Sonja Van Kerkhoff and Sean McGlinns artwork captures the philosophical phrases, referencing the tree of knowledge, and the eating up of ideas, encased in hanging fruit in the trees.

Four of artists approached the theme with childlike engagement: from the concept of playing with your food by Paul Greco, the tapping rhythms of your knife and fork inspiring Will Embliss musical picnic table, to Julia Dennis installation of four fantastical cup-cakes found in the woods, and Derek Curtis indoor piece protecting the porridge in bowl from the story of Goldilocks and the Three bears. Fun interactions where in the child’s imagination mashed potatoes can be appear as mountains, vegetables as forests and gravy as the lakes on there plate. And the picnic table and benches transformed into musical instruments that picnickers can play on – invoking the bacchanalian spirit of the picnic.

Three artists concentrated their efforts on refreshments from: the tipping urns of Jolanta Jagiello to extract the last drops, Tim Flitcroft reassuring signage that cups of tea and coffee are available, to the trusty camouflaged flasks of Katie Welsford hidden in the walkway to MoDA, essential to refreshments-on-the-go.

The quintessential British deckchair an indicator that summer has arrived was the inspiration for Juliana Stoney glass hammock styled on familiar deckchair stripes of red, green and black, representing summer fruits and vegetables. Sharon Forsythe focused on the British stiff upper lip found on wet Summer Bank holidays in British seaside resorts, no matter the weather, with a set of formally structured Windsor styled deckchairs supporting the back whilst sitting on the ground.

Lastly outdoor eating would not be possible without growing foodstuff for consumption, the subject of Jeremy Turner installation. By the nature of the materials and methods of construction it suggests industrialised mass production. The inclusion of implements involved in the process of production examines our changing relationship with agricultural land in 21st Century – now a planned site for outdoor installations. This catalogue of the show offers the reader a planned installation, an alternative to the everyday – an outdoor celebration to visually feast on.

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eatout/julia_dennis.jpgCome, we shall have some fun now
by Julia Dennis
Artist Statement
eatout/derek_curtis.jpgHomeland Security
by Derek Curtis
Artist Statement
eatout/paulgreco.jpgFood Chain
by Paul Greco
Artist Statement
by Sonja Van Kerkhoff and Sean McGlinn
Artist Statement
eatout/jolanta_jagiello.jpgLast Drop - A Right Pair of Urns
by Jolanta Jagiello
Artist Statement
eatout/will_embliss.jpgPicnic Jam
by Will Embliss
Artist Statement
eatout/katie_welsford.jpgThe Ornithic Range
by Katie Welsford
Artist Statement
eatout/darryl_moore.jpgEuropean Spectre
by Darryl Moore
Artist Statement
eatout/deborah_gardner.jpegOh keep me in thy memory (picnic at Hanging Rock)
by Deborah Gardner
Artist Statement
eatout/marilyn_collins.jpgLe Dejeuner sur L’herbe
by Marilyn Collins and Cheryl James
Artist Statement
by Jeremy Turner
Artist Statement
eatout/julianna_stoney.jpgHanging Out
by Juliana Stoney
Artist Statement
by Tim Flitcroft
Artist Statement
eatout/sharon_forsythe.jpgit was one of days in England
by Sharon Forsythe
Artist Statement