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The Folly Acres Cook Book by Sue Webster

March 19, 2015 by Mary

In this  semi-autobiographical book, British artist Sue Webster offers readers a rare glimpse into life as one half of the acclaimed artist-duo, Tim Noble and Sue Webster. The Folly Acres Cook Book combines recipes from the kitchen of the Gloucestershire smallholding shared by Tim and Sue, along with drawings, photographs, thoughts, anecdotes and personal memories.

Originally cooked for family and friends including the chef Mark Hix, and the singer songwriter PJ Harvey; the recipes form an illustrated diary of Webster’s life between the years of 2010 and 2014. Testament to her irreverent humour, Webster includes both classic and experimental dishes, alongside creative instructions for life in the country. She explains: “As I executed each idea I would test it out on a variety of guinea pigs, and recorded each dish on my iPhone. Sometimes I got bored of the edible dish and would photograph the garbage in the bin – the potato peelings and egg shells, as I found this to be somehow more attractive and synonymous to the trash sculptures that Tim and I had made.”

Introduced with an original poem by PJ Harvey that was inspired by her visit to Folly Acres, the Cook Book is hand-typed on a 1940s Olympia Robust typewriter originally developed for use by the German militia during World War II. Illustrated throughout with colour photographs and unseen drawings by both Tim and Sue, The Folly Acres Cook Book is an entirely unique publication from one of Britain’s most acclaimed contemporary artists.

In the accompanying exhibition of previously unseen unique drawings, we get a rare insight to weekends spent at Folly Acres. Sue exhibits works produced blindfolded, in a solo game of exquisite corpse. A drawing by Tim produced with a screwdriver dipped in beetroot juice; another using burnt matches on a white napkin. Subjects are personal; they include portraits of each other, the two rescue cats adopted by the artists with the land and close friend PJ Harvey – the singer songwriter, with her guitar. Sue has also produced a series of bronze sculptures including ‘The Carrot Family’, originally made from carrots grown at Folly Acres, intended as a centre-piece for a four course carrot feast one Saturday night.

Join Sue Webster & Other Criteria NYC to celebrate The Folly Acres Cook Book Wednesday April 8th 2015, 6–8pm, 458 Broome Street, New York City. There will be extract performed by Sue Webster and poetry reading by PJ Harvey. Signed books will also be available on the night.

The exhibition will be running until May 10th.