Ahead of our first Google Hangout on Thursday - a live discussion on food and art, featuring The Fabulous Baker Brothers and a panel of foodie art experts - our Assistant Blog Editor shares her passion for food, and her other job as a professional baker…
Join in via our You Tube channel at 13.00 BST on 1 August
Whether we know it or not, the things we eat reflect who we are. The fact that you’re put off goat’s cheese because you grew up on a farm (‘tastes like sheep’) or can’t stand custard because it was cold and lumpy at school (sorry, but you’re missing out) is a subtle, character-revealing morsel that paints a picture. In the past, artists have used food as a subject to show off their skills, to signify status and even to make erotic connections. Today, food pops-up across contemporary art in all manner of guises. Sarah Lucas recently used fried eggs in a portrait that tackled female sexuality, and last year couscous cropped up as an edible townscape commenting on colonisation. It seems that what we eat can tell a story not just about us as individuals but also about the social and political histories that make up our wider culture.
Back in May, 500 years of British art went on display in Tate Britain’s newly refurbished galleries and in November, a second phase will unveil a transformed building, including a new café and Tate Members area. As part of our brand new Recreate with Tate Britain project in partnership with Google, over the coming months, we’ll be hosting a monthly series of Google Hangouts with leading figures in subjects such as fashion, photography, comedy and music. But - with the renovations including a 14-metre long bar inspired by Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère – we’re getting into the spirit, and starting with food. We want to know, how do food and art inspire you?
Our first Google Hangout takes place on 1 August at 13.00 BST – it’s a live, online, group video conversation filmed here at Tate Britain – on the theme of cooking and art - with The Fabulous Baker Brothers, Tom and Henry. These boys are fifth generation, award-winning bakers (Henry a chef and butcher too) who you might have spotted on Channel 4. They’ll be talking about what they’ve whipped up using their combined culinary skills in response to Hogarth’s famous painting O the Roast Beef of Old England.
Together with BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz, food art historian Janine Catalano, Tate curator Alison Smith, and expert in sensory perception Prof Charles Spence, our Hangout panel will raise questions such as ‘can food be art?’, and ‘can taste change the way you see?’, as well as covering topics from how food has been depicted in art over the centuries to mulling over the relationship between art, artists and restaurants. Calling into the Hangout will be other foodie guests including, well, me! When I’m not blog editing, I’m cake baking, so you can watch me ice some art-inspired cakes (Wayne Theibaud is my hero) with results at the end of the Hangout.
If you’ve always wondered ‘what does a painting taste like?’ or want an audience for your Pre-Raphaelite pizza, here are a few ways to get involved. You can watch the Hangout live on the Tate’s YouTube Channel, but we’re also looking for guests to share their art-inspired culinary creations and put questions to our panel by calling-in to our Hangout.
If you’d like to be a guest please add your ideas in the comment section below, or send us your photos and thoughts about ‘Cooking meets 500 years of British Art’ via G+, Facebook and Twitter with #tatebritain.
Join us for Thursday’s Hangout (feeling peckish, watch it over lunch?) and watch this space for more info on our upcoming Hangouts inspired by the Tate Collection.
Watch and join ‘Recreate with Tate Britain’ – the ‘Cooking Meets Art’ Google Hangout on 1 August, 13.00-13.30 at Tate’s YouTube Channel
The new Tate Britain opens on the 19 November, and there will be all-day celebratory events on 23 November 2013