Residency, 5th - 15th March 2018
Illustration School, Shared Institute, Porto

During this residency, I expanded on my ongoing research regarding the values of food in a community context and its potential for togetherness. The starting point for this research lies in understanding food as global language, something that binds and connects us at its most basic function. And as food sustains us, it also acts as a reflection of our habits, beliefs (on an individual level) and cultural identity (on a wider scale). This research had previously taken many forms: including collaborative workshops, performances and dinners as primary sources, as well as an investigation into writings, publications and food-related art and design practices.

With this in mind, I explored the dining table as a platform for conversation and making. While in Porto, I focused particularly on the immediate surroundings of the Illustration School (Bonfim): the neighbourhood and its people, small shops and daily habits. Aiming to understand the continuous change the city has undergone and what that means for the locals, I used food as a visual and tactile language to tell stories and ask questions. Food was proposed as a fundamental illustrative practice of our everyday life and, therefore, a powerful tool for discussion, critique and intervention. This investigation took shape in two dinners.

The residency dinners, open to the public, worked as narrative meals and non-linear sensorial maps of Inês’ experience in the city and the local neighbourhood. Through flavours, textures, colours and smells, I navigated through local stories – real and imagined –, asking questions such as: How can food connect (or re-connect) us to who/where we are? Can it give us the tools to speak our mind? Can it help us to understand or drive change (i.e. social, cultural, etc)? Can it help us grasp, question or defy our surroundings?

This investigation was documented by Uncanny Editions in the goal of producing a limited editions recipe publication illustrating my research. The publication should be published in the fall of 2018.