The vegetable cutter

In the middle of 2019 I started to conceive a new project concerning friendship, and connecting across cultural differences.

On the 18 August 2018, I baked a loaf of bread and some cupcakes for a friend and neighbour. When I went to her house to give them to her, it transpired that she didn’t have any sort of knife that we could use to slice the bread. She showed me an Indian vegetable cutter that she uses: heavily worn with use; kept tucked in a cupboard; only brought out to use to prepare particular meals; and used when seated on the floor. I dashed back to my house to pick up a bread knife, returned and sliced the bread for her, then we continued our chat about parenting, school, and the different types of food that we enjoy. A few days later she knocked on my door with some freshly cooked Paneer curry and Indian sweets.

There was something about this simple exchange that stayed with me, and became the starting point for an artistic response, expanding on the idea that behind closed doors there are many different implements used for preparing meals, that remain hidden, contained – perhaps even if they are fantastical, magical things beyond our wildest imagination.

The project so far has included drawings, animations, CGI renderings, a 3D model, photographs and videos taken by my friend and her daughter of the vegetable cutter, and a series of messages between me and my friend discussing it.

The overarching theme that has emerged from this project is that of seeking to construct an imaginary musical instrument based on a memory that embodies and extends the idea of magical, transcendental connections.

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