“the salt bitter sweet sea"

Artist Name(s) The Food Thing
Artwork title “the salt bitter sweet sea"
Context/Background "The salt bitter sweet sea" was a special meal to mark the 2012 Tall Ships Festival in Dublin was hosted by The Food Thing - a group of artists and scholars who devised, cooked for and served the banquet. 100 diners, including members of the general public, feasted in the Custom House Quay (CHQ) vaults on the evening of 23rd of August 2012, the date when the tall ships arrived at Dublin's Liffey quays. This banquet was an artwork that explored ideas and images of seafaring and food in the era of the tall ships. Combining food and talks, the meal sought to change perceptions of the age of sail and its impact on such things as sugar, Irish slavers and the growing taste and desire for spices. 
Description

This banquet was an artwork that explored ideas and images of seafaring and food in the era of the tall ships. Combining food and various artworks, the meal sought to change perceptions of the age of sail and its impact on such things as sugar, Irish slavers and the taste for spices.

The work took the form of a five course banquet, each course addressing a 50 year increment of the age of sail, and featured a vast and surprising assortment of ingredients associated with the sea-trade in and out of Dublin.

The age of the tall ships is the period of history when international trade was dominated by sailing ships with their characteristic high masts and elaborately rigged sails. This period lasted from the end of the 16th century to the middle of the 19th century, when these ships became far less important both economically and militarily following the arrival of steam ships. Yet over a period of three and half centuries, the tall ships carried settlers, traders, slaves, scientists and fortune-seekers to many parts of the world in a time of global empire building and networking. 

The Food Thing explained:  “The age of the tall ships marks the onset of the modern world and of the integrated global economy that now shapes our lives. In creating a banquet exploring the age of tall ships, we want to tell the familiar and the less familiar stories; we want to look at the spectacular and at the more sinister images of the age of sail.

Talking through these ideas with chefs and sailors, artists and historians, we arrived at the idea of telling five stories of “the salt bitter sweet sea" through five different courses. Each course is linked in some way to each half-century of the age of sail.” 

 

Mediation

Members of the public were invited to win a place at the banquet by entering a public lottery, which was advertised through the national press, by emailing GradCAM with the reason they would like to attend. 

Biographies

http://www.gradcam.ie

Commission Type Private Commission,Local Authority
Commissioner Name Dublin City Council
Project commission dates August 23, 2012 - January 1, 1970
Public Presentation dates August 23, 2012 - January 1, 1970
Partners The LAB, GradCAM, Dublin Tall Ships Festival 2012
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Dublin City Council,Other
Budget Range 0 - 10000 euro
Project commission start date 23/08/2012
Location The Vaults, CHQ, Dublin 1
County Dublin
Public engagement

Over 100 people attended the banquet, which was free of charge and was staffed by over 50 volunteers. The event was filmed and broadcast by RTE's Nationwide.

Opportunities

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Traces

Greystones Educate Together National School appointed a voluntary committee with relevant expertise to oversee the per cent for art commissioning process. An external curator, Máire Davey, was appointed specifically for her expertise in working in a highly collaborative way as meaningful involvement from the students and school was viewed as central to the process. The procurement route chosen was limited invited competition.

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