Week 1: INITIAL PLANS

This week involved a broad range of research, both secondary and primary. The library was a useful resource, where I discovered some intriguing dining habits of different cultures in the Introduction sections of various cookery books. The level of detailed information obtained was fantastic, and it felt like I was reading sections of books that hadn’t been used by many previous readers, because when you pick up a recipe book, you very rarely read the introduction and historical background pages unless there’s a keen personal interest, or when researching the topic.

Web-based research involved scanning search sites such as Google Images and Pinterest, searching with different keywords and phrases to find images which tied in with the project, often leading to an interesting artist or designer. One of the most closely linked artists to my project that I came across is Fiona Hallinan, a multidisciplinary artist whose piece Octopus Parlour grabbed my attention.

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[  http://blogs.newschool.edu/parsons-paris/2015/02/10/artist-in-residence-fiona-hallinan-octopus-parlour-salon-de-la-pieuvre/  ]

This piece captures the essence of how I want my ideas to be realised; it’s interactive, social, and experimental. What I mean by this is that it engages with the audience on a level that feels natural, and yet is most definitely challenging the conventional setup of a classroom or dining room. It is built around a moving element, with creates an atmosphere of dynamic instability, instigating a sense of fun and playfulness. Hallinan wanted her device to explore different ways of “creating conversation”, and by looking at how food is presented, she created something for “sharing food on the one hand, but its real purpose is for learning and sharing ideas” (Hallinan, 2015).

Primary research carried out in the form of my own photography was a useful tool. By exploring Newcastle’s various global food outlets, I was able to formulate a clearer picture of what I do and do not wish to pursue in my work. Heading out to Yaadgaar on Tuesday, an Indian bakery and sweet shop about a mile out on the West Road, I took some images of their counter displays, and of course had to buy some delicious ‘Gulab Jamun’ myself…

Thursday involved idea generation in the form of quick sketches from imagination – drawing as many as I could think of, then revisiting each design and detailing some variations, helped me to visualise how the final piece might come about.

Next week I will be composing my questionnaire and carrying out artist research tasks.

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