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ManiFesten at Trolley Gallery

May 27, 2010 by Kay

Join the Trolley Gallery for an unforgettable dinner party where the set, food and entertainment has all derived from the minds of artists.

Dine on a sculptural construction created by set designer Robert Storey, where individual chairs move towards the ceiling and in turn, the table is lowered towards the diners. Experience bread rolls suspended in mid-air from artist Caroline Hobkinson, who concocted the feast based on the medieval, mythical land-of-plenty, Cockaigne. Curator and artist Ian Giles has organised - and will partake in - performances, featuring artists such as Eloise Fornieles, Edward Fornieles, Kate Hawkins and Tessa Lynch. Then take home one of the souvenir limited edition napkins by artists Hobkinson, Boo Saville and Henry Hudson.

The feasts take place over six evenings from Wednesday 2nd June and with only 12 spaces per night some nights are already sold out - so grab your tickets now from the Trolley Gallery. If you don't manage to get hold of a ticket, you can still enjoy the free public performance before dinner is served.

Read the press release below, or for more information contact the Trolley Gallery.

Boo Saville ManiFesten napkin

Boo Saville ManiFesten napkin

Ian Giles ManiFesten performance

Ian Giles ManiFesten performance

Robert Storey ManiFesten chair

Robert Storey ManiFesten chair


Trolley Gallery is pleased to announce its forthcoming summer group show. Entitled ‘ManiFesten’, over a six day period, the artists selected will respond to the theme of food and eating in the gallery, with a program of performance on the bandstand atop neighbouring Arnold Circus, traditionally a place of music and public interaction. The theme of food, eating and public performance responds to the desire for an unusual approach to the group and summer show format. ManiFesten explores the roles that artists have played both artistically and socially in food and dining, from Rothko’s commission for the Seagram Restaurant, New York to the Futurist Cookbook by Marinetti and the YBAs patronage of St John’s restaurant in London. In this respect the artists selected incorporate these ideas into their own practice, and here work together to create the show’s format.

Trolley Gallery will be transformed into an interactive installation by artist and set designer Robert Storey. Each night 12 members of the public will dine in a site-specific sculptural construction, incorporating the traditional role of chairs around a central dining table, but playing with ideas of scale and the role of encounter and the unexpected. Storey’s work utilizes found materials such as reclaimed wood and household objects such as ladders, to create surreal constructions that can subvert the original, intended or expected use. His work is inspired by artists such as Christoph Büchel, who engages with the viewer by inviting them to partake in an unexpected encounter with the work. Storey creates sets and elaborate and imaginative costumes; for ManiFesten he will create 12 individual chairs that will lift the sitter towards the roof of the gallery, before lowering the ceiling to reveal the table around them as they sit.

Each evening will commence at 7pm with a unique performance outside and near to the gallery, which will be open to the public. The programme has been curated by artist Ian Giles, and will include performances by an exciting selection of up and coming artists in this field: Awst and Walther, littlewhitehead, Tessa Lynch, Edward Fornieles, Eloise Fornieles and Kate Hawkins, as well as Giles himself. The artists will respond to the historical use of the local area for public performance, and will be open to everyone.

The concept of the menu has been created by artist Caroline Hobkinson, who runs gastronomic art tours of the area surrounding the gallery’s location in Shoreditch. Hobkinson has recently created art food concepts for, among others, the Barbican. For ManiFesten she has explored the idea of the Land of Cockaigne, the legendary country of bountiful food and drink described in medieval tales and depicted in the work of Flemish artist Peter Breugel. With the focus on a feast, both visually and gastronomically, the artist has created a three course menu, that will be presented in relation to the theme of unexpected fantasy and inverted proportion of Storey’s sculpture. It will be formulated from the best and most delicious ingredients for, as it is in Cockaigne, the food is plentiful, the ‘skies rain with cheeses’ and ‘cooked fish jump out of the water and land at one’s feet’. As the ceiling is revealed, 12 freshly baked bread rolls will be suspended in mid air in front of the diners mouths, interspersed with cured sausages, followed by a whole oven-baked halibut stuffed with little tiny fish and vegetables, followed by a giant magic porridge pot, in the form of creme brulee.

Guests will take home a limited edition napkin by Hobkinson, as well editions by artists represented by Trolley, Boo Saville and Henry Hudson.

The intention of ManiFesten is to engage guests with an original experience involving artists and food re-located to the gallery environment, and public performance in a readymade location. ManiFesten is itself an edition of 6 nights, with tickets only available in advance direct from the gallery. The total for each ticket is £69 and includes all food, wine and a limited edition artist napkin.