While food photography has been influenced by a number of external factors (take my last post on food photography and politics for example!) I recently attended an event where food photography turned a dining experience into an art form. ‘Say Cheese – The World of Martin Parr in 5 courses‘ was the latest in a series of pop up events created by The Art of Dining Team – Set Designer Alice Hodge and Chef Ellen Parr.
While Martin Parr is not usually considered a traditional food photographer, his photographs of food have a unique style that most might call ‘unappetising’ but nonetheless are interesting to compare to the ‘perfect’ food seen in advertising and food packaging. “Martin Parr takes this glossy magazine perfection and punctures it, and thus reminds us that our food, along with ourselves, is not always so glamorous.” (Kurkoski, 2013 [online]) The food and decor at the event was spot on and made you feel like you’d be transported into a 1970’s time warp!
The Art of Dining have run a number of pop up events, combining food, art and design, all taking influence from food in either photography, painting or television. One pop up I would have loved to have attended was inspired by 16th and 17th century still life paintings – ‘Vanitas‘ was hosted in a 16th century Tudor House, exhibiting modern artists’ interpretations of these paintings, whilst a Tudor feast was served. Another event was inspired by TV Dinners, with 3 courses served on one plate, eaten from a tray on your lap whilst surrounded by TV inspired art projects. I look forward to seeing what inspires this creative team next!
Here’s a great video of The Art of Dining talking about the Martin Parr themed event they hosted in Tokyo last year: