University of Tasmania
whole_GreenshieldsBarbaraRobyn2000_thesis.pdf (11.69 MB)

The language of food and eating within a context of three dimensional still life

Download (11.69 MB)
posted on 2023-05-26, 22:45 authored by Greenshields, BR
My research project sets out to investigate the assumption that eating is the most fundamental of acts, and that food is our most basic requirement. That the simple truth of these two facts suggests the connection of every living thing on the planet, each to the other; and through this network my connection to every other person in the world. The place of food at the centre of life explains why it conveys a host of meanings. Messages are implied in the presentation of food be it a single slice of carrot or a partially devoured meal, meaning is layered upon meaning. The use of food to make art has by association this same potential. While our consciousness separates us from the physical world, every day of our lives food connects us to the cycles of life and matter and is an ever present reminder of our utter dependence on all else. Working from the premise that the biological experience of food consumption is universal, this research project became an exploration of the language of food, at least in some of its many dialects. This project is an exploration of form and meaning when using food as a primary medium and as a subject of an art practice. This body of work engages a medium-specific discourse. It investigates the nature of my relationship to the material 'food'. For the purposes of this project food plays a dual role. Normally we get physical sustenance from food, while art materials feed our need to express ourselves. My utilisation covers both contexts, with both being easily interchangeable. The specific areas covered are: - cultural meanings of a meal - the processes of growth and decay -bodily knowledge - staining - chewing - metaphor, the use of food to speak of other things - still life and the representation of food - a visual language of objects as emblems, that stand in for the human condition. Initially the project was an investigation of the stuff of food, with my own cultural experience of it as the subject matter. As I worked with food as a medium for making art, its wider possibilities both materially and conceptually slowly became more evident. As the project matured the work developed into a closer look at the connection of food and the body. I started to produce works that imitated the functions of bodies. Finally the project attempted using food and eating to identify some of the knowledge of life we have gained through our bodies. These outcomes of the research project are demonstrated in the art works.


Publication status

  • Unpublished

Rights statement

Copyright 2000 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Computer laser optical disc in pocket at back of vol. Thesis (M.F.A.)--University of Tasmania, 2000.

Repository Status

  • Open

Usage metrics

    Thesis collection


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager