Words, Jessica Fenna
Foodsketz describe themselves as a ‘collaborative vehicle for food, art and discussion,’ they comprise of Alison Claire and Cat Smith. Starting life as a purely online entity, Foodsketz began as an investigation on collaborative approaches of education; with the advent of innovative technologies new methods of education have arisen. The role of the sage teacher imparting wisdom onto their pupils has in many ways been displaced by the teacher as ‘facilitator.’ Facilitation is a key theme in the duo’s ethos, featuring in their 2017 manifesto (their manifesto is updated annually) which also includes: to encourage peer-led education and learn from others, to be kind, supportive and form bonding friendships, to not be afraid to ask, to challenge and subvert the capitalist patriarchy.
The project expanded from its solely online existence, forming ‘Foodsketz IRL’ through this vehicle they continue their investigation into the changing mode of the delivery of education. The physical manifestation of the project focussed on food as a catalyst for discussion and a shared experience.
In June Foodsketz presented their inaugural event, ‘Relay.’ The event epitomised the project’s spirit of collaborative approaches to learning; the duo worked with Merseyside bartender Holly Christopher to create a bespoke (and importantly, affordable) drinks menu to create a space which would aid discussions around art. The drinks that had been produced utilised locally sourced ingredients and unusual flavour combinations.
‘Relay’ signifies the receiving and passing on of information; it is an apt title for this collaborative effort in which the objective is to facilitate and bring forth a dialogue. The sentiment is also indicative of the project’s previous guise where the objective had been to explore and interrogate new forms of education.
The event attracted an array of people, all of whom met the event with enthusiasm. Foodsketz and Holly Christopher succeeded in creating a relaxed, unpretentious environment which stimulated conversation.
One of the most successful aspects of the event I felt, was its ability to provide an open and non-judgemental platform for dialogue. All too often contemporary art can be seen as an overly cerebral world occupied by an elite few; where many feel unable to participate. This event differed from the usual contemporary art event or private view in that that it utilised this trope of the exhibition opening whilst subverting it in a manner that invites visitor participation.
For more information on Foodsketz visit http://www.foodsketz.com
Contact Holly Christopher through Instagram @hollyguacamole