Bloom: Thoughts for food – re-thinking (toxic) consumption & masculinity
An exploration of the idea that tangible change can be made in the world when norms are unsettled rather than reinforced or left untouched. Bloom focuses on creating a space for the individual to re-define the outdated, toxic view of masculinity to explore what men can be. This is tied into questioning what food can be — now and in the future.
My final project on the BA Visual Communication +Change programme, Bloom allowed me to work through the complexities and criticisms of veganism: a topic close to my heart that I had not combined with my practice as a photographer until now.
The Bloom Box is a different take on the traditional ‘recipe box’. It is comprised of ‘dividers’ designed in collaboration with individuals from western societies who are vegan or plant based, and interactive ‘recipe cards’. Instead of being a place to exchange and store recipes, the Bloom Box is a space for a collection of first-hand narratives to share with others, to open up conversations and spark inspiration. In the real word, you would find it where people gather to eat, make food or even work out: social environments where gender norms and animal food product consumption can be intrinsically linked.
On each divider is a quote from a collaborator combined with a photograph of ‘out of the norm’ fruits and vegetables. I chose this as my subject because as a +Change student, I wanted to test the possibilities of the perception of plant foods to communicate the concept of unsettling preferences. Furthermore to synchronously challenge the norms surrounding consumption and masculinities, the photographs aim to explore possibilities of what food can look like — i.e. a burger doesn’t have to look like a beef burger, and likewise a fruit doesn’t have to look like a natural fruit.
In the digital realm of the 2021 Design graduate exhibition SCREEN TIME || SCREAM TIME, the audience is invited to interact by thinking about how they personally navigate within these norms of animal product consumption and gender roles. Visit the exhibition to view more of the Bloom Box and contribute your own ‘recipe card’.