Friday, May 15, 2015

Words, Colour and Flavour

If you don't like the idea of putting a diamond ring on it, what about paper? I was blown away yesterday by the work a friend, Jeremy May, who creates literary jewels. By laminating hundreds of sheets of paper together, and then carefully finishing the piece to a high gloss, Jeremy creates art from words. It comes to life from the book, and then is re-inserted into the excavated space.

Ainsley Harriott is a local Wandsworth boy, and he opened the Wimbledon Art Open Studios last night. It is open till Sunday. He did however admit to Llandudnoitus and this was his first show. The working studios are tucked away and the 140 artists only open up twice a year. In his opening address he was comparing the discovery process of cooking to the work of the artists. He is a passionate, engaging man and you could see the love of flavour coming through his words. One of the first studios he entered was that of my buddy Peter Vaillant. Peter does vibrant abstract work that bursts with the flavour that makes Ainsley's eyes sparkle.

When Jeremy was describing to me part of his process, you could see the parallel joys that we are able to get from stories. He is a connoisseur of paper in the same way some will know the valley, year, weather and farmer who grew the grapes of the wine they love. He will wander through vintage book stores looking for old books to give new life too. Peter will wander rivers, streets, villages and beaches looking for colours. Ainsley will wander through farmer's markets to find flavours to create new meals. I love finding those stories in a good kuier.

This is the good stuff. At heart I believe we are all storytellers. We have to work in order to eat, and to put a roof over our heads but we come to life when we have a story. We can't separate ourselves, the people or the objects in our lives from the way they came into being. Their history. Their meaning.

As music has become digital, vinyl has survived because it has a story. It isn't mass produced in the way it was because digital 'quality' is better. For consumption, the 0s and 1s do a better job. But as a story, Vinyl keeps on ticking. I always thought the same would happen with books. I love my Kindle and it is a wonderful way to read, but I think books will stick around as art. Jeremy gives life to this in a new way. I think we should avoid buying things that are valuable only because they are rare. Perhaps true art is the art that is rare to you. Rarity that comes from your participation in the story. 

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