In case you’re wondering what food looks like as art … Phoebe Boddy is about to show you! In our chat Phoebe shares her sensual process of transferring memories and sensations experienced from food into a visual display of playful, colourful marks on canvas.
I find that food is so emotive and sensual – it is a whole work of art on its own
I love how your art is an expression of your love for food. When did you first start interpreting your senses from food into art?
Well! It was in France, I can literally remember the moment I first thought of doing a series of paintings inspired by food. My partner is a Chef and he had a month long job in France and needed assistance, so of course I happily volunteered! I was going to the markets with him, I was picking fresh produce, I was assisting in the kitchen (tasting, obviously) so all of my senses were being completely tantalised and my life was being dominated by food! It was fabulous! I have always been inspired by my surroundings so being surrounded by all this amazing food it made sense to paint it!
Things have now progressed and we have started a supper club concept called ‘Palette’ ; hosting unique dining experiences where I exhibit paintings alongside food cooked by my partner. Each dish, or element of a dish, is relevant to a painting of mine. It’s very exciting!
How do you turn memories and sensations from food into art? Do you associate certain movements, colours and mediums with certain flavours and textures?
I literally am constantly storing personal recollections and experiences that I encounter with food, and recreating these memories in the studio putting paint to canvas. But it’s not even just the food it’s the feelings attached to them. I find that food is so emotive and sensual – it is a whole work of art on its own and I try to elevate this through my work. I interpret flavour as a colour, envision texture as marks and translate forms onto the canvas. I love finding shapes in food.
I feel that being creative is an essential part of being a human being
Sweet or savoury? What are your favourite types of foods to paint?
Either! I am not biased, just hungry!
Walk us through your creative process .. what are the different stages of your work? From initial concept to the execution of your idea. And do you have any art rituals?
I could tell you how I have approached my art practice today, and it would be completely different tomorrow! I am sporadic. It’s bizarre, sometimes I will get an idea (often when I am driving) and go to put it on canvas and it will all happen within the hour. Other paintings I have in my studio unfinished for weeks. The first layers of the canvas will be very loose and playful and the painting will start revealing itself as I work. As far as art rituals go, I would say – burning sage!
I interpret flavour as a colour, envision texture as marks and translate forms onto the canvas
How does art and creativity affect your overall well-being? And how do you feel when you create?
If I am not creating or haven’t for a while I feel restricted and heavy. This is a topic I feel very passionately about. I feel that being creative is an essential part of being a human being and that everyone should have the ability to access some sort of creative practice. I believe that having a creative outlet, in whatever sense, can be beneficial to absolutely everyone.
What are some of the challenges you face as an artist and how do you push past these?
Judgement probably, and social media! To be an Artist, you have to be your own number one fan!! If you don’t love what you’ve created how can you expect anyone else to, I am constantly reminding myself of this. Social media is also something that I struggle with – It is either elevating my work or restricting it and I often have to remind myself that I am a painter and not a professional Instagrammer – got to find that balance!
What are your hopes and dreams as an artist?
OMG. Hopes and dreams! There are too many – I am a dreamer! The long term dream though is to be able to continue my own art practice whilst also creating our very own art/yoga/food retreat centre that allows me and my partner to work alongside each other forever. I want to be painting daily, surrounded by creatives, eating delicious food somewhere near the beach. Sounds good right?
Anything coming up we can look out for?
I am currently working on a collection inspired by ‘TEA’, hopefully a solo exhibition is in the pipeline 🙂
To view more of Phoebe’s work: