This work was made in response to Archaologist Flinders Petrie’s extraordinary collection of Pots at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaology. 2014
Video projection and terracotta bowl,
Beadle’s Box, South Cloisters, UCL
I enjoyed considering the endless uses of a pot, from leavening bread to burying the dead. The pot was a key piece of food technology in Egyptian households, I love the idea of the eternal cauldron of stew bubbling away over the fire.
The fermenting process interests me – the ancient Egyptians were the first civilisation to make leavened bread – and I started making bread using sourdough bacteria from a bakery in Giza; bacteria likely to be the same strain as in the days the ‘Petrie’ pots were made.
Video footage of it is projected onto the inside of a terracotta “moon-like” bowl. The projection shows the bubbling bread starter forcibly risen in a vacuum chamber, creating a visibly living substance, expanding and subsiding on a loop, reflecting the on-going life of the pot or the rise and fall of civilisations, and also making me think of the ideas and cosmologies of the Egyptians.