Storytelling, textiles and food

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There is beauty to be found in embracing the multiplicity of stories that constitute our identities. The essence of home is portable and fluid—always growing and adapting, fusing and mingling with different times, places and people, expressing itself in new forms and stories.

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© 2023 Lara Bongard, all rights reserved

Travelling Dinner Ta(b)les, Casa Balandra, 2023

During my residency at Casa Balandra (Portòl, Spain), I organised a two part workshop as part of the Travelling Dinner Ta(b)les series. In the first part, I started the workshop with a short meditation to ground into the body and stimulate an awareness of the surroundings. I invited the group to think of a memory of home that somehow connects them to being ‘here’ in the present moment. ‘Here’, as in here in this land, this house, these smells, these sounds. I invited them to walk around the grounds, contemplate this question and write down a short story. Afterwards, we transfered our stories on to a collective textile through painting, instead of sharing the stories verbally.

In part two, an inside tent was created from the collective textile
—referring to the kind of tents we would create in our bedrooms as kids, with the same ethereal dreamy feeling. I created a menu based on several dishes that reminded each one of us of a sense of home. Such as ‘Khachapuri’ and ‘Pan con Tomate’. We shared a beautiful meal and ended the evening in the tent, where we ate ricepudding from one bowl and shared our stories from the writing workshop.

For the Open Studios, I recreated the tent in a different space of the house. The tent became a participative food-installation, where several ancestral recipes could be tasted (during the whole residency, I had tested out the recipes of my great-grandmother Bella Goedhardt). Bagels with foraged fennel seeds could be broken off from a garland, which referred to market stalls in Eastern-Europe. Two kinds of pickles could be eaten from the jar. I made ‘Boterkoek’ from combining six different recipes contained in my great-grandmother’s recipebook, all gifted by her friends and family.
Workshop, 2023