Aaron Head - Food And Cultural Identity At BCA Gallery

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 07 January 2008
photo of a hill of used teabags with a Union Jack flag stuck in it

© Aaron Head

Exhibition Preview: Aaron Head at BCA Gallery, Bedford, until January 26 2008

During his residency at BCA Gallery in 2007, Aaron Head chose to create works that deal with the role of food and drink in contemporary society, in particular referencing multicultural Britain.

The resulting exhibition, What do I know about Bedford anyway?, contains some intriguing works tracing historical paths of trade and distribution, identifying facts that both inform and challenge the social rituals we perform with our food. Tea is a prime example, with its global journeys contrasting starkly with its place in our daily lives, often being consumed in intimate, domestic spaces or tearooms.

“I am interested in how we all use food and drink to identify ourselves and our community and this can range from a particular brand of lager or the history and usage of ginger in British cooking,” comments the artist.

photo of a shopping trolley seemingly covered in meringue

© Aaron Head

Aaron avoids political posturing or explicit meaning in his often surreal works, which instead wraps meaning in bizarre narratives of everyday stage sets, performances and film.

In his film piece Terrace, a small scale model of a typical terrace house, constructed from white sliced bread, is placed on the pavement during a busy lunch hour.

The house represents a cute sense of domesticity and home life in the hustle and bustle. Its vulnerability in this environment is designed to hint at the human desire for safety and privacy, as passing members of the public inspect it, prod it, film it on mobile phones and even stamp on it.

The work was reproduced with Naan and Ciabatta bread also, highlighting the similarities and differences of different cultures in Britain, shared vulnerability and desires, co-existing with the need to preserve our sense of identity while living side by side.

This is an exhibition preview - have you been to see this show? Why not let us know what you think?

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