Every week the Art House Co-op release a new participatory project and on the 24th of February I took part in The Meal - a Global Snack.
"Nothing makes us feel connected quite like sharing a meal together. On February 24th at 12pm Eastern Standard Time, thousands of strangers from around the world will sit down for a bite in unison and capture a shared experience at the exact same time. Take a photograph of yourself with your meal and mail it back to us. These simultaneous snapshots – self-portraits of people and their foods – will be exhibited in our storefront project space and made available online. Our aim is to inspire a feeling of community across geographic and cultural boundaries. So wherever you may be on February 24th at 12pm, keep your camera handy and something delicious nearby – and remember that thousands of strangers, both near and far, are sharing that meal with you." Art House Co-op
For me food is a battle not a pleasure, but I loved the idea of connecting with lots of other people sharing a meal. As the day approached I reread the instructions only to discover that I had to be in the picture too. Oh dear, I love being behind the camera and am appalling in front of it, what's more I only ever see the flaws and never the whole picture. This was going to be a challenge and one I would need help in executing.
I set up the meal - toast, boiled egg, pomegranate with added props - wooden hand, long stemmed rose, card from a friend to give me courage. I press-ganged Andrew Rushton into helping me take the shot - he's a fab photographer but he's not very patient or encouraging, he gets understandably frustrated, just as I make a good shape, my face moves, my hands move, I start biting my lip and gurning strangely. I find it difficult to show myself. It can take a long time to get one image I'm happy with.
Below are some of the less terrible trial shots.
Serious eating face
Smelling the roses
Sadly out of focus
Old & tired. Are we done yet?
The final choice taken just at the right time - Now you see me, now you don't!
My photo arrived safely and you can see the exhibition here
You can see Andrew's more serious photographs on his Flickr stream