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Chew over works of art at sensory tasting banquet

Artist to chew over works of art at sensory tasting banquet

10 July 2017

A tasty new way to enjoy art will be served up to visitors by celebrated artist Gayle Chong Kwan. Chong Kwan will host a sensory tasting banquet after hours, (those taking part will be given access to the Hall at night with no other visitors) on Sunday 23 July from 7pm to 9pm to launch her new exhibition at beautiful Normanby Hall Country Park.

Curated by art and environment organisation Invisible Dust, this exceptional evening event in the award-winning gardens of Normanby Hall will include tastings of seasonal food, such as artichokes, tomatoes and strawberries, grown and prepared on-site, by head chef at Normanby Hall, Emma Doust.  This will be accompanied by touch and smell experiences in and around the gardens.  The menu will include homemade vegetable pasty with artichokes and potatoes, sliced tomato with onions, mint and chives salad, lavender loaf cake, tea and strawberry and lavender jam.

The sensory tasting banquet marks the start of ‘Microclimate’, a new body of artwork by Chong Kwan exploring the history of the 19th century flowers, vegetables and trainer fruit varieties grown in the restored Victorian walled garden.  ‘Microclimate’ delves into ideas around food production, transportation and seasonality.  After the banquet Chong Kwan’s installations and photography will be on display in the walled garden, glass houses and potting sheds until 5 November, and includes a new installation in the Normanby Hall Library, open until 29 September. 

Banquet tickets cost £5 each (includes entrance to Normanby Hall gardens) and can be bought online.

Gayle Chong Kwan said: “I have been fascinated by the history of gardens and the politics of food production, consumption, and waste, so I was excited to have the opportunity to be inspired by and respond to the walled garden at Normanby Hall.  This will be the first time that I will have devised and hosted a Sensory Banquet in a walled garden, in which the foods that people are tasting are grown in the soil and beds that surround them.  There will also be a large degree of theatricality to people’s experience of the Sensory Banquet, reflecting the history of the garden, and acknowledging the stage-like enclosed setting with the stunning historic brick walls as the backdrop.”

Cllr Carl Sherwood, North Lincolnshire Council cabinet member for Normanby Hall, said: “It is really exciting to have such a unique exhibition at Normanby Hall Country Park that will explore the history of fruit and vegetables grown onsite.  We are delighted that Gayle Chong Kwan chose Normanby Hall to display her artwork.  Those lucky enough to get tickets will be able to test their senses at the banquet.  If you are a foodie, this is definitely an event not to be missed.”

Alice Sharp, Curator and Director Invisible Dust said: “We were thrilled when Gayle Chong Kwan proposed a banquet to launch her exhibition.  Both food and art are about taste and we all love great food!  This will be a chance to try fresh fruit and vegetables grown in Normanby Gardens and reflect on our complex relationship to food now and in the future.”

‘Microclimate’ launches ‘Surroundings 2017 'We Are What We Eat' – a new three-year programme of international artist residencies and events with environmental themes, launching in 2017 Hull UK City of Culture year, produced and curated by Invisible Dust with the Humber Museums Partnership (HMP), which is made up of sixteen Museums in Hull, East Riding and North Lincolnshire.
For more information about other ‘Surroundings - We are What We Eat’ events taking place this year go to the Invisible Dust website.

Normanby Hall Country Park is a beautiful 300-acre estate set in the heart of North Lincolnshire. The grounds are open to the public every day of the year, and the Hall and Farming Museum are open daily from April to September.   The address is Normanby Road, Normanby, Scunthorpe, DN15 9HU.  For more information please visit the Normanby Hall website  and .

Microclimate opening times:

  • The exhibition is open: 10.30am to 4.30pm daily, 23 July-5 November 2017

  • The library exhibition is open: 1pm to 4.30pm daily from 23 July to 29 September.

About Gayle Chong Kwan
Gayle Chong Kwan creates mise-en-scenes, fantastical landscapes, and environments, made out of disturbing arrangements of sensory waste, found materials and documentary sources.  Her work explores myths, collective and contentious histories and the ambiguous relationship between reality, appropriation, fictional contemporary mechanisms, and latter day myths, to focus on the impact of contemporary developments in tourism, planning and urban development upon the landscape.

Gayle Chong Kwan has exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad; she has produced works for the Tate Modern and Venice Biennale.  Her awards include 2015 British Council/Arts Council England International Artist Award - 'Photography in the Public Realm New York'.
2014 FATHOM Award, Four Corners, London.
2013 REFOCUS: The Castlegate mima Photography Prize.
2012 The Royal Scottish Academy Award.

‘Surroundings: We Are What We Eat’ 2017
Curated by Invisible Dust and bringing together artists and scientists to produce artworks that explore the environment,’ Surroundings: You Are What You Eat’ looks at the impact of seasons on fruit and vegetable production by three artists; Gayle Chong Kwan (as detailed above), a site-specific artwork and dance performance inspired by bread production by Laura Wilson in Hull and an artwork at Sewerby Hall in East Riding by New Zealand artist, Ahilapalapa Rands.  The programme will include a series of performances, walks, talks, food tastings and exhibitions, including an event as part of Hull UK City of Culture on 7 October in the Hull Museums Quarter with artwork by all three artists.  This year artist advisors include social scientist Lewis Holloway, Reader In Geography at the University of Hull, who has a specialist interest in sustainability, food, farming and the countryside.

Launching in 2017 – the year of Hull City of Culture – the three-year programme includes international public art commissions with an environmental theme, a young curator’s project, residencies and exhibitions.  Each year has a different but interrelating theme – food, migration and landscape respectively.  It is funded by Arts Council England through Ambitions for Excellence and Wellcome Trust Sustaining Excellence.

Invisible Dust
Invisible Dust is a Scarborough-based commissioning organisation that works with leading artists and scientists to produce new and exciting works of contemporary art exploring the environment.  Past artists include Turner Prize winners Elizabeth Price and Jeremy Deller and in 2016 ‘Human Sensor’ by Kasia Molga attracted 1.6 million viewers worldwide.  Currently ‘Offshore: artists explore the sea’, an exhibition about the critical state of our oceans with 23 artists including Tacita Dean, Martin Parr, John Akomfrah and Mariele Neudecker, has attracted 250,000 visitors since April to Ferens Art Gallery and Hull Maritime Museum.  Invisible Dust has just been awarded National Portfolio Status by Arts Council England and aims to produce significant and far reaching artist commissions both in the UK and internationally. Visit the Invisible Dust website for further details.

Humber Museums Partnership
The Humber Museums Partnership (HMP) consists of the museum services of Hull, North Lincolnshire and the East Riding.  It was formed in 2014 to develop collaborative working for the purpose of delivering better services to the public.  The three museum services of the Humber Museums Partnership hold extensive collections of art, archaeology, social history, rural history, maritime history and world cultures.  We work together to promote the heritage of the Humber region and the wider world.  Visit the Humber Museums Partnership website for more details.

Normanby Hall
First Published:10 July 2017