Pots and pans take centre stage in Food for Thought at Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum

By Ben Miller | 09 December 2010
A photo of pans on stands
Paul Amey, Cloud© Paul Amey
Exhibition: Food for Thought, Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, until April 30 2011

“Steel and aluminium are pretty harsh and cold, but there's a certain cool beauty to the cooking pots' varied forms,” says Paul Amey, sounding like a sculptural Jamie Oliver as he surveys the implements he’s used in this show. “It looks striking in the Edwardian gallery at the Russell-Cotes.”

Presented as a “sensory banquet” with a line-up laid out in menu form, Food for Thought considers the pleasures and pains of our relationship with food through work by four artists.

Headlined by Amey, who has been known for conjuring bird heads with plastic bottles protruding from them and lunar modules formed of cardboard boxes, it also stars fruit and vegetable painter Brian Gorst, cake connoisseur Diane McLellan and silverware watcher Harriet Porter, a painter with a penchant for empty glass bottles and mayonnaise jars.

“I like the idea that they're serving one more purpose before being recycled,” reflects Amey, whose central piece, Cloud, forms the focal point of the exhibition.

“I've grouped scrap cooking pots closely together so that they form a billowing mass that suggests in a mechanical way, a grey rain cloud. The steel poles and bases appear like rods of rain splashing into circular puddles on the ground. This wasn't done by design – it’s just one of those happy accidents that can occur during the evolution of the piece.”
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