In my world, food is not meant for the dinner table; its true home lies in the shadows under my bed or in the dimly lit kitchen while my family rests silently in their rooms. In the installation, The Dining Room, I have created a space that reflects my mind, crowded with the constant thought of when, where, and what I will eat next. As a child, getting caught in the act of consumption felt as though a horrible crime was being committed, the climax of a horror movie where the worst of someone had been discovered. In the privacy of my room, there was freedom to gorge on the forbidden fruit momentarily, until the act was uncovered.
Within my multi-media installation, I confront my disordered relationship with eating, its intricate connection to societal expectations, and my family’s own perception of food as it relates to body image. The paintings display the places where food was hidden, or consumed in private, and directly juxtapose with the public dining room; they question the validity of the 3D space, for they are filled with food, while the table lays bare.
Creating discomfort is the crux of my work, taking a familiar space and distorting it to contradict the preconceived emotions tied to the objects within. Contrasting a grotesque narrative with appealing aesthetics, the installation utilizes strategies of a shifted scale and a broken appearance to subliminally create a feeling of unease. It is a dining room that has no purpose, a space distant from its original role, a representation of my warped perception towards food and where it belongs.
Image: The Dining Room (Detail). Ceramic, wood, papier-mâché / Variable dimensions