Our Stories – Programme5


Programme 5 – “Herbs and Spices”

Charlotte Tupper led the participants through an exploration of mark making, drawing and printing techniques celebrating the theme of food. They started by looking at fruit and vegetables from around the world to create as till life and draw from direct observation. They then used fruit and vegetables directly to create interesting prints and marks on paper. They thought about fantasy foods using collage techniques and were encouraged to think about their favourite foods and creating a collaborative ideal dinner party.

In a later session during our celebrations of Refugee Week they experimented with translating spices and herbs into shapes and colours, created a new language and form of communication. Individuals created their own small multi-sensory space based upon the memories evoked of different herbs and spices from around the world.

It was great to see participants lead on this and incorporate the spices and herbs into their work, added texture and mark making. Some struggled with the abstract idea of shape and colour and chose to link the spices and herbs to specific food they eat and cook. However, this started great conversations. As a large group with regular and new participants, it was great to see individuals support each other and share learning. Some participants lyrically discussed personal experiences attached to them. This really enhanced their work- adding multi-sensory layers and vibrancy. One participant enthusiastically engaged, using spices to generate some great conversations.

Their last session involved designing and creating food mandalas using dried foods such as lentils, chickpeas and spices. Participants developed geometric patterns using pastels and templates coloured in using dried foods developing fine motor skills and creating textured patterns. Use of foods is to highlight the impermanent nature of mandalas traditionally made using sand. Everyone really engaged, developing their own style and unique way of drawing designs and using the foods despite knowing their temporary status.


‘I’ve really enjoyed these sessions; we’ve created some interesting work over the weeks’

‘I would have never thought to use food this way – to draw with it’

‘I’m enjoying this session, and seeing my artwork come to life’

‘Interesting to paint with the fruit- didn’t think to make art like this’

 ‘A different way to draw- using vegetables such as cauliflower and oranges- I’ve done potato printing before- although when I was at school – but didn’t think to use other vegetables too’

‘Led into another medium of art in our stories including collage. Beautiful people from all walks of life. I have made lots of friends in a safe environment’

‘Lovely session, great to celebrate Refugee week 2018!’

‘Refugee Week was featured in the “Our Stories” and it is great to hear the diaspora stories of my peers’