Function Forms Culture – Things with Handles that Do Stuff was an exhibition of the creative impact of food on culture, and culture on food. The exhibition is a historical response to the Coniston Institute and Grizedale Art’s project The Village Table.
The kitchen has long been the scene of innovation, experimentation and invention in both food and design. Just as contemporary foodies look to traditional methods to cook and grow their food, so this show looks to the past for ideas on how – and how not – to cook and eat.
How has food changed our way of life and how has creative innovation evolved our way of eating?
The subject is enormous and complex and could fill scores of museums, but it is rarely addressed with a curiosity in the everyday. After all, in many ways the everyday routines of food and food preparations are part of the cultural development of this valley. The exhibition presented a Cumbrian history of food, using everyday domestic objects borrowed from local houses and museum including from people in Coniston and across Cumbria as well as from museums including the Beacon Museum, Penrith and Eden Museum, The Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry and Cumbria Archives & Local Studies Centre, Barrow-in-Furness.