It was important for me to source the materials for the show as locally as possible with connections to the specific local communities I work with and for them to link with the themes of my work in the project so far so linking the various communities here with Camberwell.
I’ve been searching out bowls for display of the chocolates. I wanted to get most at the Self-Pick Farm at the bottom of Crouch Hill. They have Car- Boot sales there and I thought that was appropriate as the bowls will have a personal provenance. It’s been so wet that I don’t think the Car-Boots were held. Certainly when I got there everyone had gone home. There were some boxes of crockery, though, which apparently are collected from the ‘left-overs’ from the Car -Boots. Here they are full of water as I found them, and then, the ones I bought packed up at home. I also bought some from charity shops within Banbury’s Old Town. I have worked there for many years and, been an active member of the Old Town Association ,a trade organisation which supports and brings together local independent traders. It also runs community events which I participate in as a community artist. Buying some of the crockery here links the threads of my practice and communities in which they operate.
The printers, Banbury Print and Design, are a small family-run business, also in the Old Town . They have printed the wrappers for the chocolates, 5 designs, 150 each. This may be too many but I want to make sure that I have sufficient, not only for Camberwell, but also to distribute locally as a link of the two communities and networks. There is an image of Banbury Print and Design’s premises below- but Nicola was not keen on having her photo included on the Blog! Funnily enough I picked these up yesterday, Referendum Day 23rd June 2016, and then bumped into the owners on my way back home from the Polling Station. They were just walking down as a family. A coincidence….
Belflair, the chocolatier, is just across the road and up Church Lane. At the end of Church Lane is Ye Olde Reine Deer Inn, which apparently is where in the 15th century, Puritan Oliver Cromwell held court arranging future battles.
The founder & resident chocolatier, of Belflair learnt his craft at chocolate / patisserie school in Brussels and Antwerp.
I was concerned about selecting the most appropriate foils for the different designs, again that difficulty with the idea of branding. I’d decided to have one colour of foil for each image, 5 in all. Merv, (see below in the shop) who also runs the business, showed me a selection and chose the ones she thought worked best. They all looked so good that I didn’t want to change anything!
Each glistening order served as a mount would to a picture, highlighting the images, as you can see. The idea of the ‘exhibition’ of the image was still there. Apparently I’m in good company as Belflair chocolates are used as promotions for several central London hotels. Merv was excited by the images. To her they looked essential English, ( or did she say British?…..)
Merv is from Finland, and the images made her think of British weather ( the umbrella) , family camping holidays ( tent) and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and also Glastonbury festival as that has just started. All those things coalescing together in just one short conversation. She then told me a story about how camping isn’t popular in Finland and why she thinks this is the case.
The chocolates are being made especially to order in their chocolate atelier in nearby Brackley! They should be ready by the end of next week.
I asked her to recommend a reliable local courier to get them to Peckham. They are just round the corner…