Artists and food: what could be a better subject. Throughout the centuries artists have been inspired by this very social act of sharing a meal around a table.
Several ceramicists and artists have celebrated the objects that we use for the table at a small exhibition, Bacchanalia, in a London gallery. Calling it an "artistic deconstruction of a dinner party", each element of a meal is depicted in the exhibition and makes us look at them in a new way.
Plates: Let's start with the basics. Peter Ting's plates are mounted on the wall, a set of 20 or so, all slightly haphazardly. Their patterns are inspired by the very English Royal Crown Derby. The patterns between them are all related in interwoven designs. Ting uses old fashioned patterns and new technology to create them.
Cutlery: the knives, forks and spoons are the simple tools that we use and yet they aren't so simple. There are rules as to how, where and when they are used. Lesley Stothers makes collages out of place settings. Some of the utensils are made out of wire, metal, crochet, embroidery and weaving. She places them in rows: some in repetition,others laid out in the proper order.
Dessert: Mimi Joung finds vintage cups and saucers and platters from charity shops and transforms them using waterjet technology. She carves out the spoon, or the fork, and "captures the memory of the implement resting on the plate." Somehow the spoon becomes a ghost, missing from the saucer.
Tea: the end of the meal and a very English drink. Cecilia Levy makes her exquisite tea set out of the fragments of pages from books. It's a comment on the old fashioned rituals that are attached to the tea service. She was originally a bookbinder and she sees parallels with the formality of the serving of tea and the formality of reading a book.