Food is Culture 2, Bahrain 22, Jan- 2, April 2017
Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) – Bahrain National Museum
In 2016 I had the honor to be invited to participate to the second edition of the event Food is Culture, promoted and organized by Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA): “This exciting event is a creative experiment, intended to merge the artists and the chefs in Bahrain and have them create something together in their own respective line of work. They will collaborate on one art piece together and a series of dishes inspired by each other’s style and distinct modus operandi.”
My chef partner was Layla AL Sharif, a pastry artist and teacher who specializes in bespoke, intricate and delicate wedding cakes.
When I first saw Layla’s cakes, I was impressed by the similarity between her sugar decorations and my glass art works. It was after a very excited conversation between us, that I discovered that not only texture and the final decoration, but even some chemical ingredients and techniques were very much alike.
But most of all I was impressed about the care and dedication in the constant search of aesthetics, the appreciation of beauty in our works.
To me, aesthetics is a means to surprise and capture the attention of the public, a way to guide towards a concept. The same I saw in Layla’s work, aesthetics as the way to enhance the celebration of an event through an ephemeral symbol such as a cake.
We have aesthetic experience when we can perceive the peculiarity of objects, for example beauty or ugliness. Food has qualities of this nature and they can be discovered through smell and taste. With her cakes, Layla is able to achieve the beauty working on shapes, colors and textures. This is where I found my inspiration and I designed a group of glass works that along with Layla’cakes could create a complete aesthetic experience, from beauty to taste.
My goal was to represent unity, balance and harmony, blending our works up to the point to challenge the audience to guess which is glass and which is sugar.
The “Cosmic Nests” sketches that I drew at the very first meeting, were the beginning of our brain storming! From something a bit foggy and undefined, though very promising, I created art works with the intent to represent cosmic elements (The Cosmic Nests), water (The Globe) and life (The Sea Baskets and The Seaweeds and Shells). This concept landed on the shore (The Table) where organic entities conceived by Layla continued the metaphoric journey through a game of sugary shapes…….adding to the overall work the sense of taste. The final work revealed the synergy of two artistic minds.
The Sea Baskets
The Seaweeds and Shells