London averaged between 10 and15°C when I left home on the 24th of September. Summer has eluded Londoners and my vegetables were in no hope of ripening. The two tomato plants had yielded a good crop with lots of its fruit still very green. My aubergines did the “shall I live or shall I die” number on me. Starting and stopping and when I nearly gave up hope, starting again with the help of some sunshine, the bees and its sheer will to survive. I have watched with joy, as two fruits lengthened and deepened in colour the swollen promise. I am on my travels however… having left with a tinge of sadness that I wouldn’t be around in time to harvest my joy and pride… my Mum would, or perhaps my neighbours would enjoy and share the happiness of eating the homegrown!
From the day I left, the weather recorded temperatures up to 29° whilst here in Melbourne, its max has been less than the lowest end of what I left behind. The forecast is a bit warmer but will it be warm enough to ripen the crop of banana and plantain that suffered big time at the hands of category 5 Yasi.
I will be performing Journeys of Love and More Love at Melbourne International Festival and then at National Singapore Museum. More on where I am at with it later, meantime as a quick reminder, JOL&ML is an autobiographical story of migration told through video, food and live performance, refracted through stories of those I have met along the way.
Fairly elaborate production that this is, there are no heavy sets to travel with. Three people, two laptops, twelve tablecloths and 96 heart shaped moulds – that is all what we bring. The rest is relationships and love that grows along the way!
Video works are generated in both cities to reflect the local back into the narrative. And of course the food is prepared collaboratively as my recipes are interpreted and realized by the locally in collaboration with the chefs. The difference of ingredients, of what is available and what isn’t, that make the ‘authentic’ translation of those recipes a challenge. Do I care if final food on the plate is exactly how I had dreamt it at the time of sending the menu? Surely the joy is in keeping the love alive in the essence of making it!
Soon to follow…
- Updates from the kitchen in Melbourne and Singapore.
- Stories from the Food workshop we hosted in collaboration with Multicultural Arts Victoria the 1st October… while the city was watching the Grand Final Day, we had over twenty five people exploring migration and journeys via food and the dishes they brought to the table collectively to break bread!