‘Food For The Eye, Or … Would You Like Your Egg Woven Or Knitted?’ November/December 1988

Submitted by root on Sat, 09/08/2012 - 23:07

A sometimes serious, sometimes light-hearted look at food and eating, interpreted in textiles by artists from Merseyside and around the country.

The Artists and Their Work:

Su Richardson (Birmingham)

Su uses crochet in much of her work - it's a medium she feels she can control; she "didn't learn it from a man, and men don't know enough about it to pass comment."  She also says of this technique: "It's a medium that's always been connected with women and with the female experience; as a womanly craft it's generally had a utility purpose too."  The fact that something has a use in life as well as beauty, in Su's eyes, definitely adds to rather than takes away from the desirability of an object.

'Packed Lunch' "I was making the sandwiches for a packed lunch, but all the time I was thinking that I'd really like to be creating something that wouldn't be eaten up in five minutes … a statement about my life … So I crocheted it into these 'sandwiches'.

 'Burnt Breakfast' was the result of a similar type of daydream and response to a daydream. The 'Half Pan and Two Veg' is a mixture of kitchen 'still life' and "a knack you get, when you're not very well off, of collecting useless objects (a half pan used for demo purposes to advertise the non-stick  coating) just in case you find a use for them later."         

Su was one of a group of women who ran The Postal Event, in which they created works that they then posted to each other, "It was making art from bits and pieces in between the nappies and the washing up". She is also the co-author of "Women and Craft".

Miranda Bune (Hereford)

  Her hand-painted, appliquéd and embroidered wall-hangings of realistic scenes or still-lives contain delightful detail and are enhanced by highly decorated and detailed borders.




Sue Murdoch

"Three Cakes" was inspired by a number of different things: a book on Victorian cakes decorated with ornate architectural models in sugar; Italian desserts and pastries; and large hats based on the mitres worn by bishops and popes - these were ornate towers decked out with jewels. In "Three Cakes" she used flowers instead of jewels - the colours of the flowers being taken from the colour range found in sugar almonds.

Sue is a member of the British Women Artists Slide Library and her work is represented on the Crafts Council Slide Index. She is interested in how objects around her are arranged in relation to each other and uses collage and appliqué in her work.

Jackie Brougham (Kirkby) works in Manchester as a textile designer.

The samples of her designs exhibited here showed a more light-hearted side of her work.



Jane Rudling (Newport, Gwent)

Her work 'Your Afraid to Open the Black Box', explored food as something that can evoke very strong memories through taste, smell and texture. In particular she looked at how food relates to a person's body image, to their feelings about their own sexuality, to anorexia, and the feelings of fear and guilt that underlie all these things.

Most of Jane's work is about food, and most of it is constructed in the form of costumes - so relating the themes directly to the body by making it bigger, by celebrating it, hiding it or encasing it, or by conforming to its shape.

The piece exhibited - not one of her usual costume pieces -  was one of a set of three, all of which explored fear of food and of sexuality- and of the guilt that arises from these fears.

Also on display was a small book by Jane called "Food as Memory", a record of her feelings and thoughts about food and eating through childhood and adolescence.


"Woman and Craft": a documentation of the craft-working lives of women from a feminist viewpoint. The book explores the differences between the slopwork of the hard-pressed home-worker, the thriftily darned bed-linen of the proud housewife and the embroidered antimacassar of the yet more leisured woman and in doing so attempts to reveal the conditions and the practice of women's craftwork.

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