Julia Winckler Cutlery Tray Stories 2001.

I am working on the publication project FEAST. FEAST began as a series of printed publications exploring the use of food as a subject and material in artists’ works, films and in literature. Having produced three printed publications on the themes of Indulgence, Digestion and Waste, I teamed up with MMU Lecturer Elisa Oliver to develop the project.

With funding from Leeds Beckett University and Arts Council England, we re-launched FEAST as an online journal that now includes academic essays. There is a board of peer reviewers that includes Rosemary Shirley (MMU), Rachel Rich (Leeds Beckett). Bryce Evans (Liverpool Hope University), Will Carr, (Deputy Director of the Anthony Burgess Foundation), artist and writer Kit Poulson and Producer Kaye Winward. The online content is formed through an open call for submissions alongside commissioned artists’ works. The online version of the journal takes the theme of Setting the Table. The first edition responds to Cutlery – exploring the tools and utensils of eating and their alternative uses, from drug paraphernalia to musical instruments. The journal will be released twice a year.

We have developed a series of events that extend the themes of the publication. From April to July 2016 we worked with Special Collections at MMU to host a series of artists’ and academic responses to the Home Studies Collection. This consists of over 700 recipe books, household manuals, national food surveys and commercial catalogues relating to the preparation, serving and eating of food. The responses will each take FEAST’s overarching theme of Setting the Table as a framework to develop new writings, artworks and discussions.

We have also developed projects with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester. The exhibition The Devil’s Supper at the Burgess Foundation draws together recipes and references to food in the life and work of the author. Born and raised in Lancashire, Burgess wrote passionately about the traditional cuisine of his youth.  The exhibition brings together writings, recipes, and interviews from the Foundation’s archives with a selection of cookery books and serving ware from the Home Studies Collection.

I have received AHRC funding for an engagement project titled Eating History. Centred on the Home Studies Collection, the project joins the historical material with contemporary voices, developing conversations around popular recipes, ingredients and methods of food preparation that are in continued use today. I am looking for people who would like to view the collection and discuss some recipes.

If you would like to find out more about Eating History or FEAST please email me: lauramansf@gmail.com

As featured in the Manchester School of Art, Research Degree Programme Newsletter Autumn 2016