Friday 6 April 2012

The Meal - Documenting a Global Snack

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

Channeling Frida

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

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